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May 4, 2010

Continental Airlines Naming and Branding Flies South

So it's official: the Continental name is dead following the merger between Continental Airlines and United Arilines.

The combined holding company has nixed the name and already put out pictures of the new paintwork that will be on the United planes.

And the news is that while the name will be United, "Continental's colors and its livery logo, a gold and white globe-like sphere on the tail wings of its fleet, will remain intact." unitedairplane.png

The Continental name was well known, and many in the Northeast today are puzzling over why it is gone. It was well known across New York, being featured on taxis and formerly on the arena that is home to the New Jersey Nets and Devils.

Continental was also a greatly admired company, and conversely one industry watcher called the United name "toxic" because of its frequent staff issues and bankruptcy.

Scott McCartney of The Wall Street Journal is particularly sad to see the name go, bidding farewell to the "Proud Bird," a hearkening to the company's old 1960's tagline "The Proud Bird with the Golden Tail."

"For many long-time Continental loyalists, it'll be a sad day when the name gets painted over for the last time and a colorful chapter of aviation history is closed," writes McCartney.

Steven Frischling, a blogger of Flying With Fish, is less nostalgic, saying that the plan to merge the United name with Continental's imagery is just plain "confusing."

Since this will make United, the world's largest airline, Frischling suggests a whole new branding nomenclature and the name "Varney Airways," after Walter T Varney who interestingly, founded both companies!

Now, all eyes are on American and US Airways, who might follow suit to counter the United behemoth, but this seems unlikely.

And given the state of the airline industry's mergers and acquisitions, I would be hard-pressed to see an intervention by anti-trust regulators.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 4, 2010 8:58 AM
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» Proposed United Logo Drops Continental Name, Retains Almost Everything Else from Name Wire: The Product Naming Blog
The proposed United Airlines/Continental logo is a pretty simple affair: they replaced the word Continental with "United" and retained the same global mark that Continental has had since 1991. As Chris McGinnis of SFGate says, "The corresponding update... [Read More]

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