UAL Corp.'s United Airlines announced on Monday it will merge with Continental Airlines in a deal worth $3.2 billion, creating the world's largest airline.
The combined company, which will fly under the United moniker and Continental logo, is now larger than Delta Air Lines, which became the country's largest airline when it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008. It is expected to serve more than 144 million passengers per year and fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries.
"Combining these two companies is the best way to position ourselves ... to thrive in the changing and competitive airline [industry,]" said Jeff Smisek, chief executive of Continental, in a press conference with Glenn Tilton, chief executive of UAL Corp. "Continental is strong where United is weak; United is strong where Continental is weak. Putting these two carriers together is a match made in heaven."
Under the terms of the deal, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United common stock for each Continental common share they own, the companies said in a statement.