In a press release this morning, Continental and United officially announced their intentions to merge and released some details. Additionally they've launched a website for the merger here.
It's already evident that this isn't another Delta/Northwest. In that case, it was clear that Delta acquired Northwest. There was no merger, make no mistake about it, it was an acquisition. In a merger, both sides bring something to the table for a combined end result. In that acquisition, Delta stomped out any bit of Northwest culture.
The new combined airline will indeed be called United, however it will maintain Continental's livery. So, we'll start seeing 744s with the Continental livery and United name. Additionally the details are that the board will be split down the middle from each companies current members, an equal number of executives will come from each side and the new name of the parent company will be United Continental Holdings, Inc.
At the moment, I'm hopeful that this won't be quite the disaster (from the consumer side) that the Delta-Northwest merger was.
In an ideal world, it would be great if they took the best of each side and brought it together. From Continental that would include the website, Onepass and the newer planes. From the United side it would be Elite lines, Customer Service and Irregular Ops handling.
I guess we're in for a fun ride folks.