Smisek: Continental still open to merger with United

11/4/2009 | Bloomberg · Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

Continental Airlines is keeping a close eye on Delta Air Lines' merger with Northwest Airlines, Continental President Jeff Smisek admits. Though the Houston-based carrier is currently happy to remain independent as a member of the Star Alliance, Smisek says he would reconsider a full merger with United Airlines if "Delta outperforms us financially." Some analysts say a combination between the third- and fourth-largest U.S. carriers is "inevitable," though a United spokeswoman refused to speculate on specific merger plans. "We have long believed the industry will benefit from consolidation, particularly as the competitive landscape has been reset," she noted.

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