The afternoon deal: UAL-Continental ripples

Passengers are reflected in the mirror of the departure terminal as they board an aircraft to fly in the northern part of Cyprus, April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Murad Sezer The UAL-Continental merger will, no doubt, have a big impact on the two companies involved, but will the merger affect the industry, airline share prices or the experience of travelers? That’s up for debate. Here are some facts and opinions on the deal:

Factbox: Continental, United plane orders worth $22 billionReuters

Factbox: The new United AirlinesReuters

Timeline: United/Continental would create largest airlineReuters

Continental Name Change: So Long, Proud BirdWSJ

Then There Were ThreeThe Huffington Post
“Will it help the industry overcome a trail of losses dating back to the Reagan era? I doubt it. Why? Because airline deregulation was based on a flawed premise, and mergers don’t change conditions enough to remove the fallacy.”

What Sealed Continental-United Deal? JealousyWSJ

The Ups and Downs of United-Continental for TravelersWSJ
“What’s really in the United-Continental merger for travelers? Potential short-term pain, and potential long-term gain.”

Continental-United’s Jerry Maguire Moment - WSJ
“At times the call sounded like a love scene straight out of Jerry Maguire: ‘Our networks complete each other,’ said United CEO Glenn Tilton.”

Latest Airline Marriage Probably Won’t Be The Last - Forbes
“With industry costs rising, the deal between Continental and United probably won’t be the end of consolidation in the skies.”

Showing Frontier the LUV

Known around the country as the no-frills airline, and among industry watchers as a most astute hedger of jet-fuel costs, Southwest Airlines showed it is willing to spend plenty to pick up bankrupt Frontier Airlines. Southwest appears to be spoiling for a fight with far bigger rival United Airlines on United’s — and Frontier’s — home turf in Denver.Southwest (owner of the heart-warming stock ticker LUV) boosted its offer for Frontier by about 50 percent to more than $170 million on Monday, far above a competing bid of $108.75 million from Republic Airways. Southwest says it is offering unsecured creditors 12 cents on the dollar, compared with Republic’s 8.7 cents. Frontier is set to hit the auction block on Thursday.Southwest said it wants to keep the bulk of existing Lynx Aviation, a Frontier subsidiary that serves 15 regional markets around Denver, but would transition to Boeing 737s and retire Frontier planes over a period of 24 months. These are the kinds of questions Southwest will need to answer to convince analysts that they know what they are doing with this deal. As Deepa Seetharaman reported in a July 31 analysis, integration issues are expected to cause some turbulence.If nothing else, raising the bid shows Southwest’s frugality has its limits.