United Continental Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek said the company had made “significant progress” as it integrates operations following an October combination that created the world’s largest airline.
The carrier has reached accord with Continental Airlines Inc. ground workers and mechanics, and is “hopeful” of soon getting an agreement with cabin crew after a previous deal was rejected, Smisek said in an interview today in Queenstown, New Zealand. Advanced talks with pilots are also under way, he said, while attending a meeting of Star Alliance carriers.
“We are making considerable progress,” he said. “The synergies we projected are very much on track.”
United Continental, formed through UAL Corp.’s takeover of Continental, expects to achieve $1.2 billion in savings and revenue gains through the combination, Smisek reiterated. The Chicago-based company will continue to fly as two separate brands for at least another 12 months until U.S. regulators grant clearance for it to operate as a single airline, he said.