Entries in integration (2)


Nine BMI routes get BA numbers as integration proceeds

British Midland International routes flown between London's Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and nine European and African destinations will acquire British Airways flight numbers tomorrow, as part of the integration process first announced late last year.  The nine routes affected will be those flown between Heathrow, and the BMI destinations of Agadir, Morocco; Basel, Switzerland; Bergen, Norway; Casablanca, Morocco; Hanover, Germany; Marrakech, Morocco; Nice, France; Stavanger, Norway; and Vienna, Austria.  According to British Airways, all departure and arrival terminals at Heathrow will remain the same, as will estimated departure and arrival times.

On April 19 this year, International Consolidated Airlines Group, led by former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, bought BMI from Lufthansa.  BMI withdrew its membership in the Star Alliance last month.  British Airways is part of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Also, Virgin Atlantic will launch a four times weekly non-stop round-trip route between Heathrow and Vancouver International Airport (IATA; YVR; ICAO: CYVR) Thursday.  The route will operate in both directions on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  According to results returned by the search engine on Virgin Atlantic's website, the route will be operated with the Airbus A340-300.  The flight is approximately ten hours long in both directions.

related story

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (Nobember 29, 2010)

original stories

bmi flights changing to BA flight numbers (British Airways)

BMI to be 'integrated quickly' into British Airways (Airport Watch UK)

Virgin Atlantic Launch Flights to Vancouver (Virgin Atlantic)

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United and Continental shareholders vote on merger tomorrow

Shareholders of United Airlines and Continental Airlines will vote tomorrow on whether or not to approve the merger of the two airlines, the fourth-largest and fifth-largest respectively, based in the United States, by number of passengers carried.  The result is expected to be in the affirmative.  If approved as expected, the transaction, involving 3.2 billion USD of stock, is scheduled to close on October 1.  The merger will create the world's largest airline, a distinction currently held by United States-based Delta Airlines, whose merger with Northwest Airlines was finished earlier this year.  Integration of the two airlines following October 1 "is expected to take 18 months or more," according to an article on the subject posted today to the Wall Street Journal Online.

United Airlines ultimately traces its origins to 1926, and to an air mail service founded by Walter Varney, and called Varney Air Lines.  Boeing Air Transport was founded a year later, by William Boeing.  In 1931, Varney and Boeing merged their companies to create United Airlines.  United flies a fleet of 360 aircraft to 73 domestic destinations and 41 international destinations.  United Airlines and and its subsidiaries together fly to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents, a distinction the airline only laid claim to earlier this year when it inaugurated its first ever service to the Ghanaian capital of Accra.  United Airlines' hubs are located in Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago, Illinois.  Its main offices are located in Chicago.  Its largest hub is O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD; ICAO: KORD) northwest of downtown Chicago.

The airline now called Continental Airlines was also founded by Walter Varney.  It commenced operations in 1934 as Varney Speed Lines.  It changed its name to Continental Airlines three years later.  Continental and its subsidiaries fly to 130 domestic destinations and 132 international destinations.  It and its subsidiaries also fly to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Continental Airlines' hubs are in Houston, Texas; Cleveland, OhioNewark, New Jersey; and on the American-owned island of Guam.  Its main offices are located in Houston.  Its largest hub is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA: IAH; ICAO: KIAH), an airport 20 miles north of downtown Houston re-named for the 41st President of the United States in 1997.

The historical significance of this proposed merger could well be lost on the participants.  The airline resulting from this merger will be called United Airlines, but will use the logos of Continental Airlines.  The parent company of the resulting airline will be called United Continental Holdings, Inc.  The airline will be based in Chicago, but will eventually be run by Continental management.

related stories

Continental jobs will stay in Cleveland for five years (September 16, 2010)

Department of Justice approves United-Continental merger (August 27, 2010)

Congressional hearings held on United-Continental merger (June 17, 2010)

original story (Wall Street Journal)