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One Year Later: Airlines' Merger Flies Both Ways

While aviation fuel has become more expensive and the U.S. economy has become weaker, the merger of two airlines has seen the new airline achieve measures of success one year after combining forces, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Based in Chicago and the globe's biggest airline by traffic, United Continental Holdings is driving toward $1.4 billion in profits. The unit revenue gains are spearheading the airline industry, the fleet of jets is set for repainting and the terminals are soon to be prepared for upgrades that include rebranding.

But not all is rosy with the combination of United and Continental airlines, which is led by Jeff Smisek, the chief executive officer.

"In terms of painting airplanes and maintaining the stock price, I'll give [Smisek] an A. But in terms of operational issues, I'll give him an Incomplete," Captain Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental branch at the Air Line Pilots Association, told the publication earlier this week.

Three issues are outstanding: settling new labor contracts; activating the new system for effecting reservations; and winning government approval.

The airline announced last week that top-holding MileagePlus program members will receive upgrades to business class seating and additional bonus miles once they purchase first-class or full-fare itineraries for business or coach travel in 2012, according to Bloomberg.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.