Annise Parker Says Fear Not The Continental/United Merger

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Houston's Continental Airlines is seemingly about to be taken over by the Yankee corporation of United Airlines in a $3 billion merger than will create the world's largest airline.

That airline will not be named Continental.

Bad news for Houston? Not necessarily so, says Mayor Annise Parker.

In a statement that her office officially calls "optimistic," Parker emphasizes the positive:

Although we await more specifics, the early reports, if accurate, are very encouraging, indicating the Houston Airport System will remain an operational hub. This makes sense from a business standpoint, given our increasing international presence and our position as the gateway to Latin America and all points south of the border.

We also believe, and the early reports appear to concur, that Houston will continue to play a major role in the corporate operations of the merged airline. We are proud of our hometown airline, the way it conducts business and it's involvement in the community. We will actively work to continue this partnership and aid in the long-term success of the stronger airline expected from this merger."

The burst of optimism apparently precluded the prroofreaders from catching the "it's/its" mistake, a pet peeve of so many, but we shan't judge. (Lest we be judged, by commenters.)

The New York Times notes that "the merger would retire one of the oldest names in airline history, joining other prominent brands like TWA, Pan Am and Eastern in the history books. Continental's roots go back to a carrier formed in 1934 in El Paso, Tex., which named itself Continental three years later."

For some of the highlights of those years, check our 75th anniversary recap here, featuring Ethel Merman, Airplane! and the death of the Concorde.

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