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The merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines to create the world's largest airline has been legally completed.The two airlines are now part of United Continental Holdings, and will start to be integrated into one single airline, called United Airlines.The next stage, expected to take between 12 and 18 months, will see the Continental name disappear from the skies, with the airline to be called United. The logo, however, will feature the globe of Continental.
If all goes according to plan, a more unified product will be introduced in Spring next year, when aircraft will begin to carry the livery of the new airline.Jeff Smisek, CEO of the new airline, said integrating two airlines is "complex", but promised improvements in the travel experience.For now, the two airlines continue to operate independently as far as customers are concerned, with the frequent flyer programmes remaining separate in terms of earning and spending miles.Later this month, however, the airlines will introduce reciprocal benefits for elite members.www.continental.com www.united.com