The US Department of Justice has terminated its review of the proposed Continental Airlines and United Airlines merger, clearing one of the major hurdles for the merger of the two major US carriers.
“We are pleased to have achieved this critical milestone and look forward to our respective stockholders’ votes next month, following which we expect to be on track to close our merger by October 1st,” said Glenn Tilton, CEO and chairman of United parent company UAL Corporation. “The combination of United and Continental will create a world class airline, which will deliver an industry leading network for our customers and the communities we serve, career opportunities for our people, and value and return for our stockholders.”
United and Continental currently expect to close the all-stock merger transaction on October 1, subject to a vote by their respective shareholders on September 17 to formally approve the merger.
In a related transaction, the two airlines have announced that they will lease 18 slot pairs and other facilities at New York’s Newark Liberty Airport to Southwest Airlines. The airlines said that the agreement was intended to address DoJ concerns about competition at the airport, which is a major hub for Continental.