Friday, June 18, 2010
COA + UAL
In early May, Continental Airlines and United Airlines announced plans for a merger that would once again make United the nation's largest airline, a position I believe it held until dethroned by the Delta-Northwest merger. While regulatory approval is expected, it has yet to come to pass. As you might expect, there's a certain amount of opposition from cities/states who fear losing jobs, unions representing flight attendants and pilots, and consumer groups and government regulators who see reduced competition and higher prices.
At LAX, Continental and United already share Terminal 6, so no big change will be required there (unlike Delta and Northwest, who were on opposite sides of the airport). While LAX is a United hub, for Continental it's a destination served by flights from its hubs in Newark, Cleveland, and Houston. United also flies from here to Newark, but the only other destination duplication the two carriers have at LAX will be Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii. United flies B757's and B767's between LA and Hawaii, while Continental was the first carrier to use B737's from here to the islands. With such minor overlap, it seems likely that LAX will see only a slight net decrease in flights as a result of the merger. I've heard that Continental's headquarters in Houston will be moved to United's offices in Chicago, but flights out of Continental's Houston hub are expected to increase.