United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a single operating certificate, marking an additional substantial achievement in the integration of United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
This regulatory milestone, whilst substantial from an operational policies and procedures point of view, does not alter how clients interact with the airline. Customers of United and Continental will continue to store for flights, acquire seat assignments and verify flight standing on every carrier's respective website till the company migrates to a single passenger service system within the first quarter of 2012. At that point, from a customer's perspective, the two carriers will function as one airline.
"I would really like to thank the teams at United, Continental, the FAA, the Division of Transportation and the numerous regulatory authorities round the globe who place tremendous time and work into our attaining a single operating certificate," said United's president and chief executive officer, Jeff Smisek. "While we have much work ahead of us as we integrate these two excellent carriers, this is a substantial milestone."
The two carriers went through a rigorous 18-month process of aligning operating policies and procedures to obtain a single operating certificate from the FAA. A group of more than 500 employees from both carriers worked collectively to evaluate closely each pre-integration plan, procedure and operating specification from both airlines to determine the very best choice for your new United. The group streamlined more than 440 operational manuals, programs and procedures down to approximately 260 manuals for your new United - a procedure that involved roughly 2,000 modifications.
Effective these days, air traffic manage communications will refer to all United and Continental flights as "United." United and Continental announced their merger in May 2010 and closed the transaction on Oct. 1, 2010.