April 30 2010, 11:28 AM
United Airlines, Denver's largest carrier, is set to create the nation's largest airline---even bigger than Delta following its union with Northwest---if a merger with Continental Airlines takes place early next week as rumored. The idea was explored about two years ago, notes New Mexico Business Weekly, without success. But this time, the airlines have made significant progress, including determining how to price the transaction, according to a New York Times report citing people briefed on the matter. The new company would be called United and be based in Chicago, but Continental’s chairman, Jeffery A. Smisek, would be the new CEO and United’s chairman, Glenn F. Tilton, would be a nonexecutive chairman for two years. So far, there have been few reports on what all this could mean to airline workers, including those in Denver, who are sure to be worried about their jobs. In a MyFoxHouston report, Rice University finance professor Gustavo Grullon notes that both airlines have been struggling financially, adding that a merger might be better in the long run. "One of them [the airlines] may go into bankruptcy in a couple of years," he told the news station. "So the employees are going to lose their jobs anyway."