UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, has entered merger talks with Continental Airlines, a source familiar with the talks said on Thursday.
UAL and Continental both declined to confirm the talks. UAL also reportedly is in merger discussions with US Airways Group, although some experts said those talks may only be a ploy by UAL to lure Continental off the sidelines.
UAL held merger discussions with Continental in 2008. Those talks fell apart, and the two carriers later entered into a strategic alliance.
The source, confirming a New York Times story, told Reuters that the discussions are only between airline executives at this point and no bankers are involved. Groundwork for the talks was laid in 2008, the source said.
Shares of UAL were up 3.49 percent at $23.14 on Nasdaq. Continental shares were up 0.99 percent at $23.48 on the New York Stock Exchange. US Airways shares were down 0.27 percent at $7.40 on NYSE.
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