Pilot talks stall in United, Continental deal

By Reuters
Posted June 25, 2010 at 3:07 p.m.

Efforts by United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp., and Continental Airlines to reach a joint contract with pilots before concluding their merger have hit a snag, pilots said Friday.

Negotiations on the early stage transition agreement have stalled over non-economic issues, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said in a statement.

“This merger could be simple if the right path is chosen. Regrettably it appears the companies at this early juncture are headed down the wrong path,” said Wendy Morse, chairman of the United pilots’ union.

The union was not specific about sticking points but said the companies have not followed through on their promise to negotiate in good faith.

United shares was off about 1.4 percent and Continental shares were off about 1.6 percent in late trading.

United and Continental said in statements that the talks had not produced an agreement but were confident one could be reached.

Airline officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

United and Continental last month proposed merging to create the world’s largest airline. They hope for government approval of the deal by year’s end.

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