Continental: Merger with United will benefit customers
The deal will reportedly create the world's leading airline, providing access to a global network of 370 destinations.
Glenn Tilton, chairman and chief executive of United Airlines, said the announcement marked a "great day" for customers.
He added: "Building on our Star Alliance partnership, we are creating a stronger, more efficient airline, both operationally and financially, better positioned to succeed in a dynamic and highly competitive global aviation industry."
Continental chairman Jeff Smisek added: "This combination brings together the best of both organisations and cultures to create a world-class airline with tremendous and enduring strengths."