A single booking system for partner US carriers United and Continental is to be introduced next spring.
The move will effectively mean the two carriers will function as one airline.
The planned migration to a single passenger service system in the first quarter of 2012 comes as the partners won approval for the next step in their integration.
The US Federation Aviation Administration gave the green light for a single operating certificate for the two airlines following an 18 month process.
This means that air traffic control communications will refer to all United and Continental flights as “United” ahead of a full rebrand early next year.
United Continental Holdings said the regulatory milestone “does not change how customers interact with the airline”.
“Customers of United and Continental will continue to shop for flights, obtain seat assignments and check flight status on each carrier’s respective website until the company migrates to a single passenger service system in the first quarter of 2012. At that point, from a customer’s perspective, the two carriers will function as one airline.”
United’s president and CEO Jeff Smisek said: “While we have much work ahead of us as we integrate these two great carriers, this is a significant milestone.”