UAL, Continental merger clearance makes it world's largest airline

London, Sept 18 (ANI): United Airlines (UAL) and Continental Airlines (CAL) have been cleared to merge, creating the world's largest carrier after shareholders in both the airlines voted to approve the deal on Friday.

According to the BBC, the merged airline would be called United Airlines, with Continental's chief executive Jeff Smisek taking on the same role at the new carrier.

United and Continental initiated a merger talk in 2008, but Continental, the smaller but more financially secure of the two, refused to make a deal. Talks resumed this year in May again after Delta Air Lines Inc.'s acquisition of Northwest seemed to go smoothly, creating a more powerful competitor. The merger plan already has antitrust clearance from the US and European Commission.

"In approving the transaction, our stockholders recognised the value of bringing together Continental and United to create a platform for increased profitability and sustainable long-term value," Smisek said in a statement.

UAL and Continental stock will reportedly continue to trade until the deal closes, at which time Continental shareholders will get 1.05 shares in the new United for each of their Continental shares. (ANI)

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