Continental, United join forces

June 19, 2008 1:34:02 PM PDT
Continental Airlines says it is forming an alliance with United Airlines to link their networks and services worldwide, hoping to offset rising fuel costs. Continental and United said Thursday it will join United's Star Alliance. Under alliances, airlines work together to sell tickets on each other's flights. They can result in increased revenue.

Alliances have their limits, though. Without antitrust immunity from regulators, airlines are barred from working together on prices and schedules.

Houston-based Continental has considered but rejected a bolder step, combining its operations with UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, but walked away from deal talks last month, saying it preferred to remain independent.

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