Timeline: United/Continental would create largest airline

(Reuters) - United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp and Continental Airlines plan on Monday to announce their proposal to merge to form the world’s biggest airline with annual revenues of about $29 billion.

The deal, if it is approved by regulators, would be the second in two years in the United States to combine major legacy carriers to create a global behemoth.

Airlines overseas also view consolidation as a way to cut costs and maximize revenue opportunities.

The following is a snapshot of other big airline mergers that have been completed over the past decade or are in the pipeline.

2010 - British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia signed a merger agreement on April 8, sealing a long-awaited deal to create the world’s third largest airline by revenue.

2009 - Germany’s Lufthansa agrees to a number of acquisitions, including Austrian Airlines and bmi.

2008 Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines combine under the Delta name. The new company is considered a model for how to structure a deal and operate in an increasingly global market. Delta has narrowed losses and expects to report a profit in the current quarter.

2005 - Bankrupt US Airways is rescued by smaller America West Airlines, but the new company takes the US Airways name. The merged entity is stronger and its young management team is considered sharp. But integrating pilot unions has been most troublesome. United and US Airways talked twice over the past two years, but never struck a deal.

2004 - Air France acquired KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and became Air France KLM. The airlines still operate separately.

2001 - American Airlinesacquires financially troubled TWA, an iconic U.S. airline whose roots dated to 1930.

2001 - Air Canada acquires the country’s No. 2 carrier, Canadian Airlines, which was close to bankruptcy.

2001 - Japan Airlines and Japan Air System merge to eventually form Japan Airlines Corporation.

Source: ThomsonReuters

Reporting by John Crawley