Continental Airlines and United Airlines reportedly agreed to merge in a stock swap deal, valued at more than USD3 billion, to create the world’s largest carrier carrying 21% of all US air passengers (Bloomberg/Houston Business Journal/Denver Business Journal, 02-May-2010). United is expected to swap 1.05 shares for each Continental share. The combined carrier would be based in Chicago with Continental CEO, Jeff Smisek, as CEO and United’s Glenn Tilton as Chairman. The carrier would operate under the United Airlines brand. Most of the merger groundwork was already in place from previous merger discussions in 2008 which Continental walked away from in favour of joining the Star Alliance (Reuters, 15-Apr-2010). United was previously in merger talks with US Airways until 23-Apr-2010.
Continental Airlines and United Airlines merge in USD3bn stock swap deal
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Now Avianca is seeking a strategic investing partner, and many airlines are reportedly interested in obtaining a stake in the company. The investment will allow Avianca to weather difficult near term economic conditions and remain on equal footing with its competitors, while the company’s suitor obtains strategic positioning in one of most important growth markets – Latin America – for the next decade and beyond.
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The evolving Singapore Airlines (SIA) partnership strategy has reached another milestone with a new codeshare agreement with United Airlines. While SIA and United are longstanding members of the Star Alliance, their relationship has never been close and involved any codesharing.
SIA and United stated in a 9-May-2016 application with the US Department of Transportation they intend to start codesharing on 1-Jul-2016. Initially the codeshare includes eight United-operated domestic routes beyond Houston. However, the two airlines are seeking blanket codeshare approval, which would enable potential future extensions to cover United-operated flights beyond SIA’s other US gateways, SIA-operated flights beyond Singapore and their flights in the US-Singapore market.
United is launching non-stop flights to Singapore in Jun-2016 while SIA is planning to resume non-stop flights to the US in 2018. United and SIA are fierce competitors across the Pacific but the new codeshare could open the door to a broader and potentially game changing partnership. SIA has been actively seeking new or enhanced partnerships, an initiative that has already resulted in new joint ventures with Star members Air New Zealand and Lufthansa.