Continental Airlines was a major American airline that operated from 1934 to 2012, when it merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. (the parent company of United Airlines) announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc. During the integration period, both airlines were running separate operations under direction of a combined leadership team of the new parent company based in Chicago.
Continental had ownership interests and brand partnerships with several carriers. Continental was a minority owner of ExpressJet Airlines, which operated under the 'Continental Express' trade name but was a separately managed and public company. Chautauqua Airlines also flew under the Continental Express identity, and Cape Air, Colgan Air, CommutAir, and Silver Airways feed Continental's flights under the Continental Connection identity. Continental did not have any ownership interests in these companies.