And then there were just four. That's the number of legacy airlines, those in business 32 years ago when the industry was deregulated, that are likely to still be around once Continental and United complete a merger.
Neither airline has confirmed on the record that such a deal is imminent, just three weeks after the two started talking about it, but leaks by sources who should know, to every major news organization that cares, say the two will announce Monday that they're swapping stock to form the world's largest airline.
Among the plugged-in is the Chicago Tribune's airline reporter. She says the name of the behemoth will be United and the headquarters will be in Chicago, where United is now based. Read more about it here.