The sun has risen on at least part of the newly increased global span of The New United Airlines … the light will soon be raising over Chicago and Houston, the home of The New United Airlines and the former headquarters of the now nonexistent Continental Airlines. By this time Jeff Smisek has likely changed his e-mail signature from “CEO of Continental Airlines” to “CEO of United Airlines” and has focused his mindset on bringing a bit of Houston service to the Windy City.
If you head to the airport you’ll still see Continental counters bustling, Continental tails taxing and United Airlines and Continental Airlines operating from different terminals … but look beneath what your eyes can tell you and you’ll soon realize that as the world wakes up today, Delta Air Lines has been officially dethroned as the world largest airline and The New United Airlines has assumed that title.
For those in Houston and Chicago who are still in disbelief that the United Airlines – Continental Airlines merger wasn’t a dream … today for the first time there will be tangible evidence that the merger has happened and Continental Airlines no longer exists.
A lone Boeing 737-924/ER (N53442) has been painted in a hybrid United-Continental livery, a livery that will soon expand throughout the combined fleet, at Amarillo International Airport (AMA). This aircraft will fly between Houston & Chicago today, linking the two airlines and showing that they are now one.
This morning the newly repainted United 739ER, registration N53442, will fly as flight CO 346 (UA 3945) from Houston (IAH) at 8:35am, arriving Chicago (ORD) at 11:16am. The aircraft will then depart Chicago (ORD) as flight CO 747 (UA 3524) at 12:15pm, arriving back in Houston (IAH) at 2:56pm. These flights will be your first glimpse into what the future looks like … and that both Continental is no more and United’s iconic ‘tulip’ will no longer be seen on the tails of their aircraft.
Below is a photo of the Boeing 737-924/ER wearing the new combined United-Continental hybrid livery … however United Airlines presently denies the authenticity of this photo. Considering I received this image from an Operations Manager … who sent it from their company e-mail address with all sorts of verifiable details, so I’m going to assume it is completely authentic.
(Click Image To Enlarge)