The holding company for the new entity will be United Continental Holdings, Inc. and the name of the airline will be United Airlines.
The marketing brand will be a combination of the brands of both companies. Aircraft will have the Continental livery, logo and colours with the United name, and the announcement campaign slogan will be “Let’s Fly Together.”
The new company’s corporate and operational headquarters will be in Chicago and it will maintain a significant presence in Houston, which will be the combined company’s largest hub.
The all stock merger is subject to approval by shareholders and regulatory authorities.
Consolidation has long been expected in the airline industry, which has been buffeted by the global economic downturn, rising fuel costs and the fall out from the recent cancellation of flights due the Icelandic volcano.
British Airways is now far along the path of its merger with Iberia Airlines and is also looking to merge with American Airlines.
United and Continental currently fly to 370 destinations worldwide, flying 144 million passengers a year.