United Airlines has been grated the green light for its merger with Continental Airlines, a move that will create the largest carrier in the US.
The combined United/Continental will eclipse Delta Air Lines as the biggest in the US and will create a giant global airline.
The merger is due to be completed by October 1 after the anti-trust division of the US Justice Department (DOJ) gave the go-ahead.
The two carriers received clearance from the European Commission on the merger in July, which noted its investigation found the transaction would not raise competitive concerns in Europe or on transatlantic routes.
Star Alliance founder United operates 3,400 flights a day to more than 230 destinations and employs 46,000 staff.
Continental has more than 2,700 daily departures serving almost 170 points worldwide and has over 40,000 employees.
Gleen Tilton, chairman, president and chief executive of United’s holding company UAL Corporation, said: “We are pleased to have achieved this critical milestone and look forward to our respective stockholders’ votes next month, following which we expect to be on track to close our merger by October 1.
“The combination of United and Continental will create a world class airline, which will deliver an industry leading network for our customers and the communities we serve, career opportunities for our people, and value and return for our stockholders.”
Tilton’s Continental counterpart Jeff Smisek added: “The completion of DOJ’s review is an important step on our journey of creating the world’s leading airline, benefiting our customers, co-workers, communities and stockholders.
“The DOJ’s decision permits us to clear one of the last regulatory hurdles to closing our merger.”