Thursday, April 15, 2010

United Pilots Signal Better Fit With Continental Than US Air

Dunno, an unkind person might say that United Airlines management is peddling the company like a Lincoln Tunnel hooker, but at least the pilots feel that a hookup with Continental Airlines would work better than one with US Air.

The latest speculation is that United and Continental are in talks. Again! This comes less than a week after reports that United and US Airways are talking merger.

Continental is regarded as a well-run airline, and the betting here is that in any merger Continental would be on top, even though it's smaller. (I'd say US Airways would, too, if the talks between United and US Air were to result in a merger, though the United pilots are very skeptical about any link with US Air)

Anyway, here's a statement from Wendy Morse, a United captain who is chairman of the United council of the Air Line Pilots Association International:

"It has been our long-standing position that the pilots of United Airlines would support a merger if such a transaction would benefit the careers and futures of our pilots.

"Several media outlets have reported today that United and Continental have reopened merger talks. For United’s pilots, Continental, rather than US Airways, represents a more logical merger partner for United Airlines. In light of the recent reports of merger discussions between United Airlines and US Airways, it is our belief, along with many analysts, that a merger between United and Continental would contain less route overlap and greater attainable synergies. These factors would contribute to the protection of pilot careers, lead to long-term security for both airlines’ pilot groups and produce a stronger overall enterprise.

"We have been down this path before, and we have a long-standing working relationship with the pilots of Continental. We would parlay this relationship to help make a merger between United and Continental viable for both pilot groups, as well as toward the success of the combined operations."


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