Timeline of events affecting Continental and United Airlines

MINNEAPOLIS, MN April 6, 1926 -- Entrepreneur Walter Varney launches a contract air mail service in Boise, Idaho, with company that would become United Airlines.

March 28, 1931 -- United Air Lines Inc. incorporated.

1934: Varney and partner Louis Mueller found Varney Speed Lines, the earliest predecesor to Continental. The first flight, on July 15, goes from Pueblo, Colo., to El Paso, Texas, with stops in Las Vegas and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.

1936: Robert F. Six buys a stake in Varney. He changes the name to Continental Airlines in 1937, and leads the company for more than 40 years.

1959: Continental operates its first jet flight on a Boeing 707.

1978: Congress deregulates the airline industry.

1982: Continental combines with Texas International, led by Frank Lorenzo, and offers flights to four continents.

1985 -- United buys the Pacific routes of Pan American World Airways, making the nation's largest airline a major international carrier for the first time.

1986: Continental emerges from bankruptcy protection. It would file for bankruptcy again in the 1990s.

1987: Continental swallows Frontier, People Express and New York Air.

July 12, 1994 -- UAL shareholders approve an employee stock ownership plan, creating the world's largest majority employee-owned corporation.

July 27, 2001 -- United calls off its planned $4.3 billion acquisition of US Airways Group when the Justice Department threatens to block it.

Sept. 11, 2001 -- Two United airplanes are among the four hijacked and crashed by terrorists.

Sept. 20, 2001 -- Continental and others begin furloughing thousands of employees during the travel downturn that followed the terror attacks.

Feb. 1, 2002 -- United announces $2.1 billion loss for 2001, a record for any airline.

Dec. 9, 2002 -- United files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Jan. 21, 2003 -- Continental, Northwest and Delta announce an alliance.

Feb. 1, 2006 -- United emerges from bankruptcy protection after slashing annual labor costs by more than $3 billion.

April 27, 2008 -- Continental says it will not pursue a merger with United.

Oct. 27, 2009 -- Continental joins United in the Star Alliance, one of three major teams of global airlines, leaving the SkyTeam alliance that includes Delta. <

b> April 2010 -- United and US Airways break off merger talks; talks between United and Continental resume.

Stay with ABC13 and abc13.com for the latest on this developing story. Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Quinn is in Chicago and will bring you the latest on the merger on Monday.

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