PICTURES & VIDEO: United, Continental close merger deal

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United and Continental airlines have closed a merger deal as scheduled on 1 October, with both carriers becoming wholly owned subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings Inc.

The Chicago-based, merged company should generate net annual "synergies" of $1 billion to $1.2 billion by 2013, including up to $900 million extra a year from new revenue generated by fleet optimization and expanded service, the company says.


 Credit: United Continental Holdings

"We have a lot of hard work ahead as we begin to implement our integration plan, but our co-workers are enthusiastic about the opportunities this merger will bring to them," says Jeff Smisek, president and chief executive officer.

Shareholders of both airlines approved the merger on 17 September.


 Credit: United Continental Holdings

The company also announced the 16-member board of directors will include six independent members each from United and Continental. The independent directors are Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Carolyn Corvi, W. James Farrell, Jane C. Garvey, Walter Isaacson, Henry L. Meyer III, Oscar Munoz, James J. O'Connor, Laurence E. Simmons, David J. Vitale, John H. Walker and Charles A. Yamarone.

Two union directs on the board are Stephen R. Canale and Captain Wendy J. Morse. Finally, Glenn Tilton is the non-executive chairman of the board, and Smisek serves as president and CEO.