United and Continental Airlines have completed their merger, creating the largest airline in the world by revenue.
Following the deal both companies will become wholly owned subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings. The company has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UAL.
Glenn Tilton, who will serve as non-executive chairman of the board in the new company, said: “This sets us on a path to create the world’s leading airline from a position of strength, with one of the industry’s best cash positions, industry-leading revenues and a competitive cost structure.”
Board members at the new airline were confirmed last week.
The 16-member board includes six independent directors from each of United and Continental, Mr Tilton and Jeff Smisek, who will serve as president and chief executive officer.
Additionally, the board has two union directors: Stephen Canale and Captain Wendy Morse.
“We are delighted to announce the successful completion of this merger,” Mr Smisek said.
“With great people, an unparalleled global network, the best new aircraft order book among US network carriers and a commitment to superior products and services, United is well positioned for a bright future.”
With approximately $9 billion in unrestricted cash at closing, United expects the merger will deliver $1 billion to $1.2 billion in net annual synergies by 2013.
The new company’s corporate and operational headquarters will be in Chicago, with a significant presence in Houston, the company’s largest hub.
As a result of the merger, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United Continental Holdings common stock for each share of Continental common stock previously held. UAL Corporation shareholders will now own approximately 55 per cent of the equity of the holding company and former Continental shareholders will now own approximately 45 per cent, including in-the-money convertible securities on an as-converted basis.