Sat, Apr 26, 2008
Deal May Be Announced Next Week
The airline industry's next mega-merger may soon be in the
offing. The New York Times reports United Airlines and Continental
Airlines are coming close to agreement on combining forces, and
could announce the deal by the end of next week.
According to the ever-popular "unnamed sources," talks between
the two airlines, which have been going on for months, are at an
advanced stage... but not a done deal just yet. Officials
reportedly want to announce the deal May 1.
One possible sign of an impending announcement is a new link on
the Continental website, under the heading "Industry Consolidation
Update." Clicking on the tab takes users to a dedicated page,
"designed specifically to provide Continental’s perspective
on airline industry consolidation."
Continental spokesman Dave Messing would only say the site went
live April 15. United spokeswoman Jean Medina said the airline does
not comment on "rumors or speculation."
For their part, investors aren't showing much enthusiasm about a
possible United/Continental pairing, which would create an airline
even larger than the proposed joining of Delta Air Lines and
Northwest Airlines. On Friday, shares in both airlines continued
their downward spirals, with United parent UAL falling 19 cents to
$15.21, and Continental closing down 46 cents at $17.22. Shares in
Delta and Northwest posted similar losses.
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