Mayor Richard M. Daley today commended the merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines, which keeps the company’s headquarters in Chicago and strengthens the city’s global aviation position.
“With this move, Chicago will truly become the global center of the aviation industry,” Mayor Daley said. “We will be the home to the world’s largest airline in United, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer in Boeing, and the world’s finest airport in a modernized O’Hare.”
Mayor Daley joined Glenn Tilton, Chairman, President and CEO of UAL Corp. and Jeff Smisek, Chairman, President and CEO of Continental Airlines in announcing the merger at a press conference at the Willis Tower, soon to be home of United’s new operations center.
“Chicago already provides easy access to the world,” Mayor Daley said. “This merger will strengthen that position by providing Chicagoans even more connections to cities across the globe. It will also better serve the millions of business travelers and tourists who visit our city every year.”
Last summer, Mayor Daley announced the move of United’s operations center to Chicago, which will bring 2,500 employees to new offices in the Willis Tower. More than 600 United employees are already working in the company’s world headquarters at 77 West Wacker Dr.
“Companies are drawn downtown because it’s the best place to be if you want convenient access to business services, to transportation and to the talented employees who provide the energy and creativity that make businesses succeed,” he said. “The merger of these two airlines will further strengthen Chicago’s reputation as an important global center from which to conduct business.”
Mayor Daley said that Chicago will become an even more important center of international commerce when it completes the O’Hare Modernization Program, which will create thousands of jobs and inject billions of dollars into the local economy.
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