5-May-2010 1:02 PM

Combined Continental and United airlines to target premium business travellers

Continental Airlines and United Airlines reportedly plans to target premium business travellers in a bid to attract business away from Delta Air Lines and American Airlines (MarketWatch, 04-May-2010).

Continental: "We'll be very attractive to corporate customers, but I think that attractiveness is going to be sticky because we're going to provide the best scope and scale, the best network, and the best product in the industry." Jeff Smisek, CEO of Continental Airlines. Source: MarketWatch, 04-May-2010.

Meanwhile, UAL chairman and CEO, Glenn Tilton, reportedly plans to swap a cash severance for an equivalent amount of restricted stock if the merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines is completed (Dow Jones, 04-May-2010). The restricted stock would be based on UAL’s stock price at the time of the merger completion. Continental and United also received a class action lawsuit from a Continental shareholder claiming Continental was sold at an unfair price with the carrier’s stock trading at a high price two weeks ago (Business Review, 04-May-2010).

Following the announcement of the carriers' merger, Continental CEO, Jeffery Smisek, apologised for his comment calling US Airways “the ugly girl” of the US airline industry during an interview after US Airways CEO, W. Douglas Parker, called the remark “chauvinistic and offensive” claiming the carrier “is not (the ugly girl) and there’s no better evidence of that than our recent performance” (nytimes.com, 04-May-2010).

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