The beginning of the end already? (United and Continental)

The Boeing 777-200ER, Continental's long-haul ...

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All over Twitter, people are already saying goodbye to Continental Airlines. But wait… October 1, 2010 is just the date the merger officially closes, no? It’s just a date when the transaction takes place, right? The integration process of two airlines is long and difficult, so we’ll continue to see the Continental brand for a while.

After all, it takes time for the two operating certificates to become one, the two reservations systems to come together, the frequent flyer programs to unite, airport signage to be replaced, corporate cultures to blend…

Not to mention to repaint all 360 United planes (plus their regional affiliates), and to change the airline name on all 346 Continental planes so that they read “United” instead. The process has already started and @FlyingWithFish reports that there are already two flights scheduled to sport the new color scheme as early as October 1, 2010.

Yes, it will take time. In fact, quite some time. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article about the UA/CO merger, it took Delta and Northwest 1½ year to combine their operations. So, if the new United will outrank the new Delta as the world’s largest airline, it’s natural to expect it will take longer than 1½ year.

So, don’t say your goodbyes just yet…

P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss the Continental brand. But I console myself in saying that after all, it’s CO’s logo that will survive throughout the years.

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3 comments on “The beginning of the end already? (United and Continental)
  1. MVFlyer says:

    United hasn’t repainted that many of their planes to the new blue/white livery–many of them are still in the very drab grey color–even though they introduced the new colors about four years ago. Apparently they don’t have many spare planes, so they couldn’t afford to take the planes out of service for painting (or they didn’t have the money???) So now they can bypass that and paint them in the pseudo-Continental colors with the United name, which I agree with @BooHoo–isn’t nearly as nice as UA’s blue/white.

  2. BOO HOO says:

    Oh BOO HOO already. The United brand by FAR is superior. it is losing the beautiful new Blue and White colors with the re-designed tail. Oh BOO HOO already. The pro CAL passengers will see what they have been missing. A REAL First Class,,, every aircraft with half the economy section sporting 5 inches more leg room (since 1997). Oh BOO HOO already. As for flight attendants, they are all the same on any given flight on any given day. BOO HOO for the Continental name. Within 3 years the new CEO will realize that the tail United logo needs to return. Oh BOO HOO already.

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