Barring any last-minute mess-ups, a deal to merge air carriers Continental and United will likely be announced as early as Monday, a union that would create the world’s biggest airline.

Industry watchers have historically favored airline consolidation, claiming that there are currently too many carriers and too much service overlap.

Bigger may be better from a bean-counter’s point of view, but it could end up costing consumers more, which is usually does. –JCL

The Guardian:

The crowded US airline industry is in for a shake-up as two of the country’s biggest players, Continental and United, put the final touches to a merger that would create the world’s largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers.

Two years after a previous attempt at a tie-up failed, Continental and United began talking earlier this month and have agreed terms. Board meetings are due to take place over the weekend. Barring any last-minute hitches, a deal could be announced as early as Monday.

United, the bigger of the two airlines, would be the surviving brand and would provide the combined carrier’s headquarters in Chicago. Between them, United and Continental would create a force larger than Delta and Northwest, which agreed to merge two years ago.

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