WSJ: “United Continental Is Still Shaky Five Years After Merger”

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United Airlines had a major meltdown earlier this week that grounded all its morning flights due to computer “issues”.

WSJ United Continental Is Still Shaky Five Years After Merger

The merger between United and Continental has been one big disaster from the getco and the airline still cannot operate as one combined entity (United crews fly United planes and Continental crews Continental ones).

You can access the WSJ piece here of which below is an excerpt:

United, the world’s No. 2 airline by traffic, suspended its flights world-wide for about two hours on Wednesday morning because a faulty router prevented the company from checking in passengers. The company said as of Wednesday afternoon it canceled 61 flights and delayed another 1,162 because of the computer problem, with disruptions cascading throughout the day.

The airline, meanwhile, is wrestling with unhappy unions, poor punctuality and a recent increase in maintenance-related delays and cancellations. Hundreds of United’s 9,000 mechanics picketed outside of the company’s annual meeting in June, warning of turbulence ahead if they don’t get a combined labor contract. Many of United’s flight attendants are preparing next week for protests at all of their crew bases to signal their impatience over their own slow contract talks.

While the Chicago-based company has turned the corner financially—net profit nearly doubled last year to a record $1.1 billion—it has experienced a series of mishaps and operational crises that analysts say is preventing it from living up to the promise seen when the merger was announced in 2010.

Conclusion

It is about the time for the business publication to question the implementation of the merger that was announced five years ago.

The airline cannot keep its schedule together, meltdowns weekly with flights and very bad at service recovery (recent diversion to Canada and Ireland that left people stranded with little or no help from United), unhappy frequent fliers and unhappier employees. I could go on and on.

Someone competent should come and lead the airline like the Gordon Bethune did back in the day with Continental.

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