CHICAGO, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- United Airlines shareholders have overwhelmingly approved a deal to merge with Continental to create the world's biggest airline, company officials said.
Shareholders of United parent UAL Corp. met in Elk Grove Township Friday morning to vote on the $3 billion stock swap, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Meanwhile in Houston Continental shareholders were also approving the deal.
The companies expect the deal to close in the next two weeks, the Tribune said.
Industry analysts said the success of the merger between the two U.S. carriers would depend on more than just numbers on a page.
Bill McKnight at consulting firm A.T. Kearney said the more the merged company "can transfer the Continental service ethic into the new airline, the better off they're going to be."
By the numbers, the merger puts together an airline that will serve 370 destinations in 59 countries, which the new United hopes will appeal to business travelers who often purchase more expensive seats, USA Today reported.
Beyond numbers, however, "The bigger question is, five years down the road, will you have a very large, well-run company or something that has devolved into the lowest common denominators of the two?" asked Robert Shumsky, a management professor at Dartmouth College.
Thomas Lys, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, said: "Mergers typically fail in one of two places. The first place is that it's a stupid deal … there are no efficiencies to be gained from it. The second is that, while it makes sense, you can't pull it off."