United Airlines Holdings, Inc.
  • UAL, Inc. (1968–1987)
  • Allegis Corporation (1987–1988)
  • UAL Corporation (1988–2010)
  • United Continental Holdings, Inc. (2010–2019)
FoundedDecember 30, 1968; 54 years ago in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Area served
Key people
Ted Philip
Scott Kirby
Brett J. Hart
ServicesAirline services
RevenueIncrease US$44.9 billion (2022)[1]
Increase US$2.3 billion (2022)[1]
Increase US$737 million (2022)[1]
Total assetsDecrease US$67.4 billion (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$6.9 billion (2022)[1]
Number of employees
93,000[2] (2019)
SubsidiariesUnited Airlines
United Express operated by:
Footnotes / references

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as United Continental Holdings, Inc., UAL Corporation, Allegis Corporation and founded originally as UAL, Inc.[4]) is a publicly traded airline holding company headquartered in the Willis Tower in Chicago.[5] UAH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc.

UAL Corporation agreed to change its name to United Continental Holdings in May 2010, when an agreement was reached between United and Continental Airlines where United would acquire Continental. To effect the acquisition, Continental shareholders received 1.05 shares of UAL stock for each Continental share; at the time of closing, it was estimated that United shareholders owned 55% of the merged entity and Continental shareholders owned 45%.[6] The company or its subsidiary airlines also have several other subsidiaries. Once completely combined, United became the world's largest airline, as measured by revenue passenger miles. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance.[7]

UAH has major operations at Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Guam, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco, and Washington–Dulles. Additionally, UAH's United is the largest U.S. carrier to the People's Republic of China and maintains a large operation throughout Asia.[7]

UAH uses Continental's operating certificate and United's repair station certificate, having been approved by the FAA on November 30, 2011.[8][9]

On June 27, 2019, the name of the parent company was changed from United Continental Holdings to United Airlines Holdings.[10]

Major subsidiaries

United's global headquarters occupy 20 floors of Willis Tower in Chicago

The following is the list of major subsidiaries of United Airlines Holdings, Inc.[11][12]


Early in February 2008, UAL Corporation and Continental Airlines began advanced stages of merger negotiations and were expected to announce their decision in the immediate aftermath of a definitive merger agreement between rival Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.[14] The timing of the events was notable because Northwest's golden shares in Continental (that gave Northwest veto authority against any merger involving Continental) could be redeemed, freeing Continental to pursue a marriage with United. On April 27, 2008, Continental broke off merger negotiations with United and stated it was going to stand alone.[15] Despite ending merger talks, Continental announced that it would join United in the Star Alliance.[16]

United and US Airways were in advanced merger talks in late April 2008, following the announcement that Continental had broken off talks with United.[17] In June 2008, CEOs of both United Airlines and Continental Airlines signed an alliance pact presaging their eventual merger. The alliance is an agreement to link international networks and share technology and passenger perks. This agreement is basically a "virtual merger" that includes many of the benefits of a merger without the actual costs and restructuring involved. The alliance took effect about a year after Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines completed their merger, as that released Continental from the SkyTeam contract and allowed for the required nine-month notice. Additionally, Continental joined Star Alliance, as Delta and Northwest merged.[18]

United Airlines was reported to be in serious merger discussion with US Airways in early April 2010. A New York Times report indicated that a deal was close. Union consent was cited as a major hurdle for negotiators to clear.[19] On April 22, 2010, United announced that it would not pursue a merger with US Airways.[20]

The Board of Directors at Continental and United Airlines approved a stock-swap deal that would combine them into the world's largest airline on Sunday, May 2, 2010. The airlines publicly announced the deal the next day.[7] This would re-unite Walter Varney's airlines, which offspring includes Continental and United.[21]

Both airlines have taken losses in the recession and expect the merger to generate savings of more than $1 billion a year.[22] Combined, they fly to some 370 destinations in 59 countries from their ten hubs,[23] and carry 144 million passengers a year.[22] Combined revenues will be about $29 billion.[24]

In July, the merger of the two airlines was approved by the European Union.[25]

On August 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the $3 billion merger[26] and shareholders of both the companies approved the merger on September 17, 2010.[27][28] On October 1, 2010, UAL Corporation (the parent company of United Airlines) completed its acquisition of Continental Airlines and changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc. Although the two airlines remained separated until the operational integration was completed, as of this day both airlines are corporately controlled by the same leadership. Both carriers achieved a single operating certificate from the FAA on November 30, 2011 which allowed both airlines to operate under the name "United".[29]


For the fiscal year 2017, United Continental Holdings reported earnings of US$2.131 billion, with an annual revenue of US$37.736 billion, an increase of 3.2% over the previous fiscal cycle. United Continental's shares traded at over $69 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$23.1 billion in October 2018.[30] The company ranked No. 81 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.[31]

Year Revenue
in million US$
Net income
in million US$
Total Assets
in million US$
Price per Share
in US$
2011 37,110 837 37,988 21.59 87,000
2012 37,152 −723 37,628 21.21 88,000
2013 38,279 571 36,812 31.65 87,000
2014 38,901 1,132 36,595 47.51 84,000
2015 37,864 7,340 40,861 59.86 84,000
2016 36,556 2,263 40,140 53.02 88,000
2017 37,736 2,131 42,326 69.17 89,800
2018 41,303 2,122 49,024 77.25 92,000
2019 43,259 3,009 52,611 86.82 96,000
2020 15,355 −7,069 59,548 42.65 74,400
2021 24,634 −1,964 49.43


When United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced their merger in May 2010 they introduced their new corporate branding. It featured the words "United Airlines" in the then-current Continental typeface, and Continental's globe-like logo. United updated their branding once again in August 2010, replacing the words "United Airlines" with the single word UNITED and changing the font to United's traditional upper-case sans-serif font.[32] United's new CEO Jeff Smisek, who previously served as Continental's chairman, helped design the new font, integrating it with the existing Lippincott-designed Continental graphics. He has noted that he has received over 15,000 emails with suggestions for a new livery.[33]

The first United 747 featuring the new livery was painted in February 2011. Re-painting and branding is said to be "accelerated" beginning mid-2011.[34]

On March 1, 2011, United unveiled an "interim" marketing campaign replacing the previous "It's Time to Fly" campaign, which included fingerpaint ads and television spots created by Fallon. On the same date, United removed the iconic 38-year-old Saul Bass-designed "Tulip" logo from its website and all new advertisements will feature the former Continental globe logo. This new campaign was used until 2012, when United reconditioned a former slogan, "Fly the Friendly Skies".[35]


Main article: United Airlines fleet

As of April 22, 2021, United Airlines operated 835 mainline aircraft and 522 regional aircraft.[36]


Main articles: List of United Airlines destinations and List of United Express destinations

United Airlines and United Express operated more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 destinations; 140 million customers were carried on 1.5 million flights in 2015.[37]

United Airlines hubs[38]
Airport Area served Type/region Airline before merger
O'Hare International Airport Chicago, Illinois Largest hub, Midwest hub, and headquarters United
Denver International Airport Denver, Colorado Mountain hub United
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Guam Primary Pacific Ocean hub Continental
George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, Texas Second largest hub, primary gateway to Latin America Continental
Los Angeles International Airport Los Angeles, California Secondary West Coast hub, secondary gateway to Latin America United
Newark Liberty International Airport Newark, New Jersey and New York metropolitan area Primary East Coast hub, primary gateway to Europe Continental
San Francisco International Airport San Francisco, California, San Francisco Bay Area Primary West Coast and transpacific hub United
Washington Dulles International Airport Northern Virginia
Washington, D.C.
Secondary East Coast hub, secondary gateway to Europe United

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "United Airlines, Inc. 2022 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 16, 2023. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL) Company Profile & Facts". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "Company Overview". United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "United States Securities And Exchange Commission: Form 8-K Current Report". United Airlines Holdings. October 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Golab, Art (August 13, 2012). "United commits to Willis as HQ, with lease through 2028". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  6. ^ "Investor Relations – News". United Continental Holdings, Inc. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "United and Continental Announce Merger of Equals to Create World-Class Global Airline". United Continental Merger.com. May 3, 2010. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  8. ^ "Investor Relations – News". United Continental Holdings, Inc. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Peterson, Kyle (November 30, 2011). "United gets FAA single operating certificate". London. Reuters.
  10. ^ Rucinski, Tracy; Shivdas, Sanjana (June 27, 2019). "United Continental changes name to United Airlines Holdings Inc". Reuters.
  11. ^ "List of Subsidiaries". Securities & Exchange Commission. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  12. ^ "Investor Relations – SEC Filings". United Continental Holdings, Inc. February 25, 2013. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  13. ^ "Form 8-K for United Continental Holdings, Inc". Securities & Exchange Commission. April 3, 2013. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. On March 31, 2013, United merged with and into Continental, with Continental continuing as the surviving corporation of the Merger and as a wholly owned subsidiary of UAL. Upon the closing of the Merger on March 31, 2013, Continental's name was changed to "United Airlines, Inc." (the "Survivor").
  14. ^ "United stands ready to merge". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  15. ^ "Continental Abandons Merger Talks With United". The New York Times. April 28, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Continental to Join Star Alliance". Continental Airlines. June 19, 2008. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  17. ^ "UAL, USAir in very advanced merger talks". MSNBC. April 28, 2008. Archived from the original on May 6, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  18. ^ Johnsson, Julie (June 20, 2008). "United, Continental join forces". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 2, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  19. ^ "United and US Airways Said to be in Merger Talks". The New York Times. April 7, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  20. ^ Reed, Dan (April 22, 2010). "Irked US Airways ends merger talks with United". USA Today. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  21. ^ "Love is in the air". The Economist. May 6, 2010.
  22. ^ a b "United and Continental Airlines to merge". BBC News. May 3, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  23. ^ "World's Most Comprehensive Network". United Continental Merger. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  24. ^ "United, Continental create world's biggest airline". The Sydney Morning Herald. May 4, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  25. ^ "EU approves United-Continental merger". Associated Press. Retrieved April 3, 2011.[dead link]
  26. ^ Mouawad, Jad (August 27, 2010). "United-Continental Merger Clears Federal Hurdle". The New York Times.
  27. ^ "Investor Relations – News". United Continental Holdings, Inc. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  28. ^ "Continental Airlines". Continental.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  29. ^ Freed, Joshua (November 29, 2011). "Pilots: United gets single operating certificate". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  30. ^ "United Continental Holdings Financial Statements 2005–2018". Macrotrends.net. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  31. ^ "Fortune 500 Companies 2018: Who Made the List". Fortune. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  32. ^ "United, Continental Show Off New Livery". AOL Travel News. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  33. ^ Horton, Will (December 20, 2010). "Here's what United's CEO thinks of the carrier's new livery". Flight International. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  34. ^ "Boeing 747 Debuts in New United Livery". United Continental Holdings. February 24, 2011. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012.
  35. ^ "United Airlines launches new campaign from Kaplan Thaler/New York". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  36. ^ "Company Overview". Chicago: United Airlines Holdings. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  37. ^ "Company Overview". Chicago: United Airlines Holdings.
  38. ^ Investor Day (PDF) (Report). Chicago: United Airlines Holdings. November 15, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.