Continental, United Close Deal

By JOSHUA FREED and DAVID KOENIG
|  Friday, Oct 1, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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Continental, United Close Deal

AP

Continental Airlines planes at Houston Intercontinental Airport Thursday, May 19, 2005. Continental Airlines Inc. reported second-quarter profits on Wednesday, July 20, 2005, benefiting from increased passenger demand and reduced labor expenses that helped offset soaring fuel costs. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

United and Continental have closed a deal to create the world's biggest airline, ending Delta's brief hold on the top spot.

The airlines announced the completion of United's acquisition of Continental on Friday.

The combined airline will be called United Airlines, although travelers will still see Continental's colors and globe logo on the tail. The company name will be United Continental Holdings Inc.

Even though the deal has closed, the company will essentially run two separate airline operations for at least the next year while they work to get a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airline will be run by former Continental CEO Jeff Smisek, and based in United's headquarters in Chicago.

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