UAL Corp.

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Fitch upgrades UAL and United Airlines ratings

Fitch Ratings upgraded United Airlines Inc. and its parent UAL Corp. before the closing of a tie-up with Continental Airlines Inc.

City council gives final approval to O’Hare bonds

The Chicago City Council gave final approval on Wednesday to $1 billion of revenue bonds to continue expanding O’Hare International Airport.

But the two major carriers at the airport are not saying if they plan on fighting the debt sale.

A spokesman for American Airlines said there was “no comment at this time.” Get the full story »

World’s airlines report $3.9B in profits

The International Air Transport Association says 47 major carriers it monitors to assess the industry’s financial health reported a net profit of $3.9 billion in the second quarter. The results contrast with the $881 million net loss posted by carriers a year earlier.Get the full story >>

Justice Department OKs United-Continental merger

Passengers at the United and Continental kiosks at O'Hare International Airport, May 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Justice Department approved the proposed merger of United and Continental airlines Friday, closing an unexpectedly speedy four-month investigation that paves the way for the mega-deal to close by Oct. 1.

To win the blessing of federal antitrust regulators, United and Continental agreed to lease slots for 18 round-trip flights to Southwest Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airport, beginning in March 2011.

Justice officials said the slot transfer was struck in “response to the department’s principal concerns” regarding the merger, which critics have warned will speed consolidation and eventually leave the three largest U.S. carriers with a lion’s share of the market. Get the full story »

Continental to give up Newark slots to Southwest

Continental Airlines will give up 36 slots at its Newark hub to Southwest Airlines in a bid to address antitrust concerns for its deal with United Airlines, the airlines said Friday.

The deal gives low-cost carrier Southwest the right to operate up to 18 daily roundtrip flights with some flights starting in March 2011. A full schedule is expected by June 2011.

The deal is contingent on the closing of a merger between Continental and United, a unit of UAL Corp, by November 30. Get the full story »

U.S. air fares poised to climb this fall

Travelers on U.S. airlines can look forward to higher fares and higher fees this fall as demand recovers from the 2009 economic recession, a top fare expert said Monday.

Fares for domestic flights are 16 percent to 20 percent higher than they were a year ago, said Rick Seaney, chief executive of Get the full story »

Aircell wins patent suit over Internet system

The company Aircell said Thursday that it has settled remaining claims in a patent lawsuit brought against the company over its in-flight Internet system.

The settlement news comes three weeks after a Massachusetts jury found that Aircell had not infringed on a patent owned by Ambit Corp., a technology company based in Massachusetts. Get the full story »

United shows new look for planes after merger

The new planes will feature United on the fuselage and a Continental globe on the tail. (UAL photo)

United Airlines and Continental Airlines revealed refinements to the visual branding for the new global airline that will result from the proposed merger between the two airlines.

The new logo displays the combined company’s United brand name in capital letters, in a custom sans-serif font, joined with the global mark which has represented Continental’s brand image since 1991. Get the full story »

3 United flights at O’Hare June’s only long tarmac waits

Only three commercial flights among the thousands that operated nationwide in June sat on the ground loaded with passengers for three hours or longer, the Obama administration said Tuesday, touting the effect of a controversial new consumer-protection rule that threatens stiff fines against airlines for excessive tarmac delays.

The bad news for Chicago was that all three overly tardy flights involved the home-town carrier, United Airlines, at O’Hare International Airport. Get the full story »

United passenger traffic up 2.1% in July

United Airlines said its passenger traffic in July rose by 2.1 percent, with most of the gain coming from increased mainline traffic in its overseas markets and from its regional carriers. Get the full story »

Virgin America CEO says trail ‘cold’ for Chicago service

After failing for more than two years to secure airport gates in Chicago, Virgin America will begin flights to and from Dallas, its first mid-continent destination and a rare foray by a low-cost carrier into the “fortress hubs” dominated by network airlines.

Virgin America has also been trying to start services from Chicago O’Hare — a hub dominated by American and United–for more than two years, but David Cush, Virgin America’s chief executive, said he was less optimistic than ever that it could reach a deal with the city. Get the full story »

30% fewer miles for short United, American flights

United Airlines and American Airlines have both begun promotions that allow frequent fliers to use 30 percent fewer miles if they want to squeeze in some “short-hop” travel in the next few months. Both deals only apply to trips of 700 miles or less. Get the full story »

Continental, UAL settle shareholders lawsuit

Continental Airlines announced Tuesday that it has settled three lawsuits filed by shareholders who didn’t like what they were getting in Continental’s merger with United Airlines.

Moody’s upgrades UAL Corp. debt

Moody’s Investor Service upgraded $2.2 billion in debt held by United Airlines’ parent UAL Corp., and said it may raise the rating again after United closes its merger with Continental Airlines.

“The upgrade of the ratings recognized the strengthening of liquidity and credit metrics that has occurred since the beginning of 2010,” said Moody’s analyst Jonathan Root of the decision to rate United’s debt to B3 from Caa1. Get the full story »

United becomes sole carrier flying to Aspen

From the Denver Business Journal | United Airlines is now the only major carrier serving the ritzy mountain resort of Aspen, Colo., after Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced that they will not be flying there this winter.