By combining United and Continental, we are building a strong airline that will benefit customers, employees and stockholders alike
Author Glenn Tilton Photography United Airlines Creative Services
With the announcement of the agreement to merge United and Continental Airlines, United Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Tilton talks about the benefits for our customers around the globe.
LAST MONTH, we announced our decision to merge with Continental Airlines, combining the best of two great organizations to create the world’s leading airline, with strengths that will benefit our valued customers. With this merger, we are bringing together two world-class companies known for exceptional customer service and operational excellence.
Together, the new airline will create a truly comprehensive global network, serving 370 destinations around the world, connecting our cities and smaller communities. When looking at how our routes fit together, the logic that drives the merger is immediately clear. Continental’s network is a natural fit with ours. They increase our presence in New York and Latin America, build on our extensive routes across the Pacific, the Midwest and West Coast, and help make our excellent coverage in Europe even better.
The bottom line: Together, we will provide our passengers with greater ease accessing communities across the U.S. and around the world.
We will have an industry-leading frequent flyer program as we plan to combine all your miles into one account, providing you with more opportunities to earn and redeem miles across an enhanced global network.
The announcement builds on our strong relationship with our partner Continental, which we brought into the Star Alliance last year.
Merging the two airlines is expected to take that partner relationship to the next level—a true merger of equals, as we combine two great brands. I will serve as non-executive chairman of the new company, and Jeff Smisek will serve as CEO. Our management team will draw equally from the talented leaders of each company. Our headquarters and operational center will be in Chicago. Our airline will have 10 hubs, including hubs in the four largest U.S. cities, and will continue to provide service to all of the communities that United and Continental currently serve.
The company will be called United Airlines and will use the Continental colors, logo and livery. Houston will be our combined carrier’s largest hub.
Our companies and our people know each other well. When Jeff and I were together last month in New York to announce the news, we were asked what our customers can expect from this merger. And the answer is simple: a world-class airline that brings together the best of our two companies. Our company will have the financial strength to enhance customers’ travel experience by enabling us to invest in globally competitive products, upgrade technology, refurbish and replace older aircraft and implement the best-in-class practices of both airlines.
There’s probably no one who knows the ups and downs of the airline industry better than frequent flyers. We have discussed with you in the Voices column some of the work the United team is doing in order to deliver better service, invest in our products and improve our airline—all with a commitment to getting you there safely. That work will be ongoing as we continue to measure the improvements in our operational and service delivery performance month by month.
Our colleagues at Continental share our vision. This combination allows us to enhance our service to our communities and to deliver the best possible service to our customers. It will also provide long-term career opportunities for our employees and deliver increased value for shareholders. We know you will be paying close attention as we work toward implementing the merger after closing and smoothly integrating these two companies, and we fully expect to meet and exceed your expectations.
As Jeff and I said when we were in New York, “Let’s Fly Together.”
For more information, please go to www.Unitedcontinentalmerger.com.