Shareholders of Continental and United Airlines have finally voted to form a more perfect United Airlines, merging the two companies under United’s name to create the world’s largest airline service, overtaking its closest U.S. rival — the newly merged Delta and Northwest Airlines — and European carriers.

Although the merger was met positively by shareholders, many labor critics believe the union will actually lead to job cuts as the two companies join. –JCL

The Guardian:

The world’s biggest airline got clearance for take-off today as shareholders of United Airlines and Continental Airlines backed a multi-billion dollar merger that will create a carrier dwarfing rivals on both sides of the Atlantic.

The combined airline, which will adopt United’s name, is forecast to have $30bn of annual revenue, carrying 144m passengers a year to 59 countries. It will be larger than Europe’s top carrier, Air France-KLM, and will overtake its US rival, the newly merged combination of Delta Air Lines and Northwest.

Investors met to vote on the tie-up at twin meetings at Continental’s headquarters in Houston and at United’s base in Chicago. At Continental’s gathering, 98% of votes were cast in support of the share-swap deal, despite concerns among unions about job losses, plus opposition in some circles to the abandonment of United’s signature “tulip” logo.

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