AFP - United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced Monday they had agreed to merge, creating the world's biggest carrier in an all-stock transaction approved by the boards of both companies.
The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, still needs to be approved by the shareholders.
But the companies said they expected to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The new merged giant, which will keep the United name and maintain its headquarters in Chicago, will account for seven percent of global airline capacity, ahead of US rival Delta, which currently leads with six percent, US media reported.
It will also have a 21 percent share of the huge US air market.