Any thoughts as to what affect this will have for transtalantic travel?
Wow! I must have miss the lead up to this, I had no idea. Looks like the carrier will be known as United, so the Continental brand will disappear like NWA??
I hope it will be a good thing, and we'll still have a daily route from GLA to a US hub, even if it isn't EWR any more. I'd like more options from here to boost my pathetic Onepass balance!
Boo. Hiss. I like the alliance. I hate the merger. I wonder how they are going to handle my permanent elite status. I guess only tme will tell.
As Continental focuses more on Europe and UA Asia, route wise it's a good fit. I doubt Newark will vanish as a hub since UA has no hub on the East coast at this time. However, I believe it's going to be bad for the flying public. Less competition usually leads to higher airfares. This may also forces US Air and AA to start looking for possible merger partners. I doubt it would be with each other as there would be too much duplication of routes (not a good fit for either airline).
Will we still have our FF miles from Continental??
OMG! Where have I been, I had no idea.
If you believe that the news stories are correct- since neither UA nor CO have issued any definitive "on-the-record" press releases, except to say in effect they are in discussion.., then it appears that the 'surviving' name will be United-- thus CO shareholders will get a fixed number of UAUA shares for each CAL share owned-- and the new company will have it's HQ in Chicago.
If this were true (and assumptions are made that the forgoing is correct), then it would appear likely that the CO model and all it's assets-- aircraft, employees, route system, etc- would all be eventually merged into UA's.
I do think in time CO's mileage plan will get folded into UA's, but I also think that UA's plan will change somewhat to accommodate the CO transition.
For operating efficiency alone, I cannot believe that UA would plan/allow CO to operate on a stand-along basis. I think that there *will be* route eliminations, perhaps a hub closure and a net reduction on terms of size of the newly formed company..
Do I think that this is an overall "gain" for the individual traveler? Yes and no. I do think that by merging and reducing the net capacity (seats) in the domestic airline industry you help to stabilize fares and cut down on excess capacity on jointly served routes.. However, this does mean that in many cases the individual traveler will see net higher fares than before when it was two separate competing entities.
Knowing what I know about each company, the immediate operational questions in my mind are:
a) UA's European gateway in IAD versus CO's European hub in EWR.. Which will survive or both? Will they keep both as pilot and FA's bases or merger (and thus close) one into the other?
b) UA's domestic DEN hub and CO's domestic/South America hub in DFW.. Will UA move the bulk of it's domestic DEN operation to DFW or vice-versa?
c) Air Micronesia (commonly called Air Mike).. Will UA (the newly formed company) run Air Mike as a wholly-owned subsidiary or roll it into the larger parent? If rolled into the parent, where does AIr Mike get based from? HNL, NRT or one of the west coast USA gateways?
Still a lot to hear about and *if and when* a merger is announced, will be many, many months until it all comes to fruition- domestic and international regulatory approvals, labor union approvals, logistics, etc..
Just a couple of comments. The Continental miles would probably be rolled over into the UA program. In fact if you look at the Continental program since they joined the Star Alliance, it has already been partially modified to almost the same mileage redemption levels as UA. I would expect Continentals Hub in Texas to survive as it is at Houston Intercontinental (which is also their present headquarters). As they are the dominant carrier at that airport, it basically provides UA a hub with almost no major competition at a minimal cost.
A bit of a bolt out of the blue! For weeks I have seen press reports and gossip on various forums that United and US Airways were to merge.Edited: 01 May 2010, 10:29
I would be very very happy if Glasgow flights wound up going to Houston! I've only once used EWR as an end destination rather than a connecting airport, and doubt I'll want to do that again for a long time.
Direct flights from Glasgow to Texas would be awesome :o)
My bet is that IAH, IAD, DEN, and EWR will all survive as hubs. CLE though is repetitive with ORD and IAD close by... but then NWA survived for a long time with Minneapolis and Detroit. I also think west coast will stabilize to SFO and LAX, neither of which are currently significant for CO. Air Mike should continue to operate out of GUM, and COPA... well, I bet that more then loose alliance will be traded off.