United and Continental: One Step Closer to Becoming One Airline

As of Wednesday, United and Continental are a single airline – called United – at least as far as the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the FAA was to bestow a “single operating certificate” on this carrier as of this morning, which is one of the final steps in the merger process that began back in the spring of 2010 when United announced its takeover of Continental.

United/Continental Merger: 10 Things that will Change

What This Means for Passengers

For passengers, the certificate is relatively meaningless when it comes to practical matters like booking a flight or checking in with their carrier. Such actions are still handled separately on the two airlines’ websites and there are still separate aircraft, although many United planes now sport Continental’s signature globe logo as part of its livery.

What This Means for Pilots

As the Tribune reports, Continental pilots will now start using the name United as their identifying call sign whenever they communication with the air traffic control tower. In the meantime, progress is being made on merging the two airlines’ pilots under a single union contract.


Published: November 30, 2011