Continental Airlines said today that it chooses "to not merge with another airline at this time."
Continental also said it is "considering alternatives to SkyTeam" and evaluating other global airline alliances.
Here's the statement Continental sent to its workers and released publicly.
Continental is now weighing some kind of a new alliance with British Airways and/or American Airlines, under the kind of anti-trust immunity on certain markets that the government has handed out freely to Delta-Air France KLM and Northwest-Air France KLM. These arrangements are a kind of quasi-merger on certain select (read: intrernational and international-feed) markets.
The statement obviously means that Continental's hot-and-heavy negotiations with United Airlines have collapsed -- and is evidence that Continental did the collapsing, once they had a good look at what a mess United is in.
Now United needs to find someone else to take to the dance. Yoo-hoo! US Airways? Anyone?