UPDATED:The big merger is here as fuel costs rise

As reported throughout last week, Continental and United were discussing a merger and now they've confirmed that it's happening. For the official announcement,here's the joint news release the two carriers issued. Notice the airlines were working on this long enough to devise a new logo that combines the United name and Continental's tail sylized globe logo.

The detailed AP news story on the deal can be found at this link.

UPDATE: The Inquirer's Linda Loyd reported yesterday what effect the merger would be -- very little, is the answer -- on what is now two airline operations at PHL.

Unfortunately for the airline industry, the devasting oil spill off Louisiana's Gulf Coast has led to higher crude prices, and predications are that the price is headed even higher.