United Continental Holdings

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United Continental Holdings, Inc.
Traded as NYSEUAL
Dow Jones Transportation Average component
Industry Aviation
Predecessor UAL Corporation
Founded October 1, 2010 (2010-10-01)
Chicago, Illinois
Headquarters Willis Tower
Chicago Loop
Chicago, Illinois
, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Services Airline services
Revenue Increase US$ 38.901 billion (2014)[6]
Increase US$ 2.373 billion (2014)[6]
Increase US$ 1.132 billion (2014)[6]
Total assets Increase US$ 37.353 billion (2014)[6]
Total equity Decrease US$ 2.396 billion (2014)[6]
Number of employees
84,000 (2015)[7]

United Airlines
United Express operated by:

Website www.unitedcontinentalholdings.com
Footnotes / references

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (formerly UAL Corporation) is a publicly traded airline holding company headquartered in the Willis Tower in Chicago.[9] UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. The company is the successor of UAL Corporation, which agreed to change its name to United Continental Holdings in May 2010, when a merger agreement was reached between United and Continental Airlines. Its stock trades under the UAL symbol. To effect the merger, Continental shareholders received 1.05 shares of UAL stock for each Continental share, effectively meaning Continental was acquired by UAL Corporation; at the time of closing, it was estimated that United shareholders owned 55% of the merged entity and Continental shareholders owned 45%.[10] The company or its subsidiary airlines also have several other subsidiaries. Once completely combined, United became the world's largest airline, as measured by revenue passenger miles. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance.[11]

UCH has major operations at Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Guam, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco, Tokyo–Narita and Washington–Dulles. UCH's United Air Lines, Inc. controls several key air rights, including being one of only two American carriers authorized to serve Asia from Tokyo-Narita (the other being Delta Air Lines). Additionally, UCH's United is the largest U.S. carrier to the People’s Republic of China and maintains a large operation throughout Asia.[11]

UCH uses Continental's operating certificate and United's repair station certificate, having been approved by the FAA on November 30, 2011.[12][13]

Major subsidiaries[edit]

United's global headquarters occupy 16 floors of Willis Tower in Chicago

The following is the list of current subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings, Inc.[14] [15]

  • United Airlines, Inc. (formerly Continental Airlines, Inc.[16])
    • Air Micronesia, Inc.
    • CAL Cargo, S.A. de C.V.
    • CALFINCO Inc.
    • Century Casualty Company
    • Continental Airlines de Mexico, S.A.
    • Continental Airlines Domain Name Limited
    • Continental Airlines Finance Trust II
    • Continental Airlines, Inc. Supplemental Retirement Plan for Pilots Trust Agreement
    • Continental Airlines Purchasing Holdings LLC
      • Continental Airlines Purchasing Services LLC
    • Continental Express, Inc.
    • Presidents Club of Guam, Inc.
  • Four Star Insurance Company, Ltd.
  • UAL Benefits Management, Inc.
  • United Airlines, Inc. (the original United Airlines)
    • Covia LLC
      • Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC
      • MPH I, Inc.
      • Mileage Plus Marketing, Inc.
      • Mileage Plus, Inc.
    • United Aviation Fuels Corporation
    • United Cogen, Inc.
    • United Vacations, Inc.


Early in February 2008, UAL Corporation and Continental Airlines began advanced stages of merger negotiations and were expected to announce their decision in the immediate aftermath of a definitive merger agreement between rival Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.[17] The timing of the events was notable because Northwest's golden shares in Continental (that gave Northwest veto authority against any merger involving Continental) could be redeemed, freeing Continental to pursue a marriage with United. On April 27, 2008, Continental broke off merger negotiations with United and stated it was going to stand alone.[18] Despite ending merger talks, Continental announced that it will join United in the Star Alliance.[19]

United and US Airways were in advanced merger talks in late April 2008, following the announcement that Continental had broken off talks with United.[20] In June 2008, CEOs of both United Airlines and Continental Airlines signed an alliance pact presaging their eventual merger. The alliance is an agreement to link international networks and share technology and passenger perks. This agreement is basically a "virtual merger" that includes many of the benefits of a merger without the actual costs and restructuring involved. The alliance took effect about a year after Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines completed their merger, as that released Continental from the SkyTeam contract and allowed for the required nine-month notice. Additionally, Continental joined the Star Alliance, as Delta and Northwest merged.[21]

United Airlines was reported to be in serious merger discussion with US Airways in early April 2010. A New York Times report indicated that a deal was close. Union consent was cited as a major hurdle for negotiators to clear.[22] On April 22, 2010, United announced that it would not pursue a merger with US Airways.[23]

The Board of Directors at Continental and United Airlines approved a stock-swap deal that would combine them into the world's largest airline on Sunday, May 2, 2010. The airlines publicly announced the deal the next day.[24] This would re-unite Walter Varney's airlines, which offspring includes Continental and United.[25]

Both airlines have taken losses in the recession and expect the merger to generate savings of more than $1 billion a year.[26] Combined, they fly to some 370 destinations in 59 countries from their ten hubs,[27] and carry 144 million passengers a year.[26] Combined revenues will be about $29 billion.[28]

In July, the merger of the two airlines was approved by the European Union.[29]

On August 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the $3 billion merger[30] and shareholders of both the companies approved the merger on September 17, 2010.[31][32] On October 1, 2010, UAL Corporation (the parent company of United Airlines) completed its acquisition of Continental Airlines and changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc. Although the two airlines remained separated until the operational integration was completed, as of this day both airlines are corporately controlled by the same leadership. Both carriers achieved a single operating certificate from the FAA on November 30, 2011 which allowed both airlines to operate under the name "United".[33]


When United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced their merger in May 2010 they introduced their new corporate branding. It featured the words "United Airlines" in the then-current Continental typeface, and Continental's globe-like logo. United updated their branding once again in August 2010, replacing the words "United Airlines" with the single word UNITED and changing the font to United's traditional upper-case sans-serif font.[34] United's new CEO Jeff Smisek, who previously served as Continental's chairman, helped design the new font, integrating it with the existing Lippincott-designed Continental graphics. He has noted that he has received over 15,000 emails with suggestions for a new livery.[35]

United Continental Holdings, Inc. The Company became the parent company of Continental Airlines, Inc. ("Continental") upon the closing of a merger transaction (the "Merger") on October 1, 2010. As part of the Merger integration, on March 31, 2013, the Company merged its two operating subsidiaries, Continental and United Airlines, Inc. ("United Airlines"), with Continental continuing as the surviving corporation and as a whollyowned subsidiary of the Company. Upon the closing of this transaction on March 31, 2013, Continental's name was changed to "United Airlines, Inc." ("United").

A Continental Airlines Boeing 737-900ER series aircraft (N53442) was the first aircraft to be painted into the new livery for the combined company.

United Continental Holdings also brings its larger airline services to smaller communities via its branding rights and ownership over the Continental Connection, Continental Express, and United Express trademarks. Continental Connection and Continental Express will be consolidated into the United Express marketing and branding as the merger integration moves forward.

As of late 2010, George Gershwin's 1924 "Rhapsody in Blue" will remain as the new United's theme song, the song has since been featured on new safety videos on United and Continental aircraft.

It was announced February 2011 that United would maintain its p.s., or premium service transcontinental aircraft and update the interiors.

The first United 747 featuring the new livery was painted in February 2011. Re-painting and branding is said to be "accelerated" beginning mid-2011.[36]

United's new interim advertisement, shown on a print ad on March 1, 2011.

On March 1, 2011, United unveiled an "interim" marketing campaign replacing the previous "It's Time to Fly" campaign, which included fingerpaint ads and television spots created by Fallon. On the same date, United removed the iconic 38-year-old Saul Bass-designed "Tulip" logo from its website and all new advertisements will feature the former Continental globe logo. This new campaign was used until 2012, when United reconditioned a former slogan, "Fly the Friendly Skies."[37] The newly released ads adopt the same concept of the former Continental ads which simply express a one-liner.


Main article: United Airlines fleet

United Airlines operates more than 750 mainline aircraft.


The combined airline serves up to 370 destinations, from the 9 hubs listed below. This may be subject to change due to future developments and decisions. As of February 4, 2014 United has officially stated they will be removing hub status from Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.[38] Guam is the only hub airport that United has not rebranded from Continental.[39]

United Airlines hubs
Airport Area served Type/region Airline before merger
Flag of Guam.svg Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Flag of Guam.svg Guam Pacific hub Continental
Flag of Colorado.svg Denver International Airport Flag of Denver, Colorado.svg Denver, Colorado Western hub United
Flag of Texas.svg George Bush Intercontinental Airport Flag of Houston, Texas.svg Houston, Texas Largest hub, primary gateway to Latin America Continental
Flag of California.svg Los Angeles International Airport Flag of Los Angeles, California.svg Los Angeles, California Secondary West Coast hub United
Flag of Japan.svg Narita International Airport PrefSymbol-Tokyo.svg Tokyo, Japan Asian hub United
Flag of New Jersey.svg Newark Liberty International Airport Flag of Newark, New Jersey.jpg Newark, New Jersey, New York metropolitan area Primary East Coast hub Continental
Flag of Illinois.svg O'Hare International Airport Flag of Chicago, Illinois.svg Chicago, Illinois Second largest hub, primary Midwest hub United
Flag of California.svg San Francisco International Airport Flag of San Francisco.svg San Francisco, California, San Francisco Bay Area Primary West Coast hub United
Flag of Virginia.svg Washington Dulles International Airport Flag of Virginia.svg Northern Virginia
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg Washington, D.C.
Secondary East Coast hub United

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United Airlines Names Oscar Muñoz Chief Executive Officer". September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ "United Poaches American Airlines President Scott Kirby". August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ "United names former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton as chairman, settles proxy dispute". September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ http://newsroom.united.com/2016-08-18-United-Appoints-New-Senior-Leaders
  5. ^ http://newsroom.united.com/2016-08-18-United-Appoints-New-Senior-Leaders
  6. ^ a b c d e "2010 Form 10-K, United Continental Holdings". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  7. ^ "United Airlines Fact Sheet" (PDF). Unitedcontinentalholdings.com. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "United Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ "[1]." United Continental Holdings. Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  10. ^ "United Continental Holdings, Inc. - Investor Relations - News". Ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Unitedcontinentalmerger.com". Unitedcontinentalmerger.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ "United Continental Holdings, Inc. - Investor Relations - News". Ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  13. ^ Peterson, Kyle (November 30, 2011). "United gets FAA single operating certificate". Reuters UK. 
  14. ^ "List of Subsidiaries". Sec.gov. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "United Continental Holdings, Inc. - Investor Relations - SEC Filings". Ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com. February 25, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Form 8-K for UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC." (Archived 2014-02-23 at WebCite‹The template WebCite is being considered for merging.› ) Securities and Exchange Commission. April 3, 2013. "On March 31, 2013, United merged with and into Continental, with Continental continuing as the surviving corporation of the Merger and as a wholly owned subsidiary of UAL. Upon the closing of the Merger on March 31, 2013, Continental's name was changed to "United Airlines, Inc." (the "Survivor"). "
  17. ^ "United stands ready to merge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Continental Abandons Merger Talks With United". The New York Times. April 28, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Continental Airlines". Continental.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  20. ^ "UAL, USAir in very advanced merger talks - Business - US business - Aviation | NBC News". MSNBC. April 28, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ Johnsson, Julie (June 20, 2008). "United, Continental join forces". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 20, 2008. 
  22. ^ "United and US Airways Said to be in Merger Talks". New York Times. April 7, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ Reed, Dan (April 22, 2010). "Irked US Airways ends merger talks with United". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  24. ^ Press Release. "Press Release | Let's Fly Together". Unitedcontinentalmerger.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Love is in the air". The Economist. May 6, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "United and Continental Airlines to merge". BBC News. May 3, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Unitedcontinentalmerger.com". Unitedcontinentalmerger.com. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  28. ^ "United, Continental create world's biggest airline". The Sydney Morning Herald. May 4, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  29. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iLtBZzKBc8HAtWTZlIMlpoajQZnQD9H7ILIO0. Retrieved April 3, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  30. ^ Mouawad, Jad (August 27, 2010). "United-Continental Merger Clears Federal Hurdle". The New York Times. 
  31. ^ "United Continental Holdings, Inc. - Investor Relations - News". Ir.united.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  32. ^ "United Airlines - Airline Tickets, Vacations Packages, Travel Deals, and Company Information on united.com". Continental.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  33. ^ JOSHUA FREED (November 29, 2011). "Pilots: United gets single operating certificate - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  34. ^ "United, Continental Show Off New Livery". AOL Travel News. August 12, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  35. ^ Brookson, Ben. "Here's what United's CEO thinks of the carrier's new livery - Flight International". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  36. ^ Boeing 747 Debuts in New United Livery[permanent dead link] United Continental Holdings PR, February 24, 2011
  37. ^ "United Airlines launches new campaign from Kaplan Thaler/New York". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  38. ^ "United Airlines will not continue hub status at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport". WKYC.com. February 4, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  39. ^ "United Airlines - Airline Tickets, Vacations Packages, Travel Deals, and Company Information on united.com". Continental.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]