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The world business communities are involved in continual review of their businesses strategies so as to attain and maintain their competitive advantage. One of the most outstanding and recent expansion in business is the merger of United and Continental airline. The merger brought about a multi million corporation in the name of United Continental Holdings Inc. Despite the fact that the two constituent companies are yet to operate unified flight products it is no doubt that the new organization is set for an upward command in its domestic and international market. In the mean time, the organizations eagerly await legitimization of their unified operation from Federal Aviation Administration as they continue to attract unprecedented influx of employees and customers. United Continental Holdings attractiveness is not only based on its constituents' past record but rather as a result of its bright future prospects (Baxter, 2010).
Over the past few years Continental Airlines have had to struggle with bankruptcy, ever rising fuel prices and stiff competitions from low-cost rivals (Gilson and Altman, 2010). As a lasting remedy to its woes, the company is in the process of finalizing a merge with United Airlines. After three weeks of negotiations and lobbying the two airline firms agreed to merge together in a move seen by analysts as the most appropriate at such times of economic recovery. The Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines accentuates the importance of this strategy by stating how the two organizations compliment one another. He says, "Continental is strong where United is weak and United is strong where Continental is weak. It is a match made in heaven." (Continental Airlines, 2010).
From the passengers' point of view, the merger is may lead to raised fares in some selected routes. This is one of the effects of merger being evaluated closely by the Justice Department before issuance of operations certificate (Mouawad, 2010). For the newly found airline, the union is expected to result in reduced operations costs, higher revenue and more market share. Combining their operation will mean that the two companies will no longer invest on competition strategies against one another (Grant, 2010).
Human resource base in excess of 80,000 is clear indicator of its upcoming lucrative business niche in the aviation industry. However, despite its global attractiveness, United Continental Holdings Incorporation employees must explore ways of maintaining their relevance in the expansive airline organization. Organizational restructure in line with merger strategies has far reaching effects on its employee's career development and job security. Suitably positioned members of staff are definitely headed for enhanced long term career chances.
The new corporation's assets portfolio is an assurance on its own. Success of any company is directly attributed to elaborate and reliable infrastructure which is present in this corporation. Because of the fact that the two equally endowed companies are joining up together means that they are going to view human capital in a more similar perspective. Most employees appreciate the fact that working for an airline remain one of the lucrative jobs in the world. Such employees are able to attain desirable work-life balance allowing them a rare chance of travelling on weekends or catching up with friends. It therefore implies that the greater the company the better the services available for workforce.
Immense sea of experienced personnel from either sides of the merger is one milestone which cannot be underestimated. However, the ripple effect of merger will ultimately lead to lay-off in either side of the union. Jobs in the worlds' largest carrier will be terminated through attrition, retirement and charitable programs. This is an inevitable option since similar functions are going to be eliminated by a single function as part of the move to reduce costs.
The merger will source its leadership team from talented individuals from both parent companies while executive management positions will be determined towards the final stages of the deal. Equitable and balanced choice of business executives is expected with an idea that both sides are going to ideally contribute equal number of individuals (Karp, 2010).
The new airline corporation will however have to undergo a series of challenging transformation. Merging customer relations will not be an easy task especially where customer loyalty had been cultivated. As a buffer to this challenge strategist of the new airline are formulating mechanisms of loyalty reward through bonuses and other rewards schemes. Therefore, it should be no worry that customers may loose confidence in the new airline. Employees from either side must move away from their status quo and embrace cultural diversity arising from new management set up.
Corporate social responsibility at United Airlines
The company acknowledges the fact that decisions made at what ever level of its management matters a lot not only to its immediate customers and employees but also to the entire humanity. That is why it has an elaborate feeling of responsibility and obligation to what is right. The company has made notable progress in the recent past on areas which are of paramount importance in improvement of travel experience, natural environment and their communities.
In a more general view, humongous airline is connecting friends and families, workmates and organizations across the boundaries within and without America. It helps in driving tourism, generation of business opportunities and immense contributor of economic recovery through foreign trade. It is worth noting that every single decision made by organization of this caliber matters a lot in different sectors of economy (Aaron, 2010).
In the past few years the parent companies have been working on path of strengthening their organizations. This is clearly manifested in the manner in which customers are treated at individual basis and how communities continue to benefit from their deliberate corporate social responsibility. Airline management team achieves this through paying special attention to safety, exemplary customer relations and outstanding financial performance.
The company was the first in on-time performance among United States carriers and has been able to maintain this position up to now. It continually endeavors to improve customer satisfaction and cutting edge employee courtesy. The organization has also dedicated its efforts to exemplary revenue management and expenditure minimization. These efforts are not limited to internal use only but also to continued support of projects which enhance the much needed health care, information and financial needs of the community. These programs have a special focus on institutions dealing with young people (United Airlines, 2010).
Extensive resources available to the company being an international carrier are used to deliver help in areas affected by calamities. As an illustration, United Airlines which operates as a subsidiary company of United Continental Holdings Inc. was the first airline from United States to deliver relief aid mission to Haiti after a destructive earthquake. A good number of its employees extended their courtesy by volunteering their time to this worthy cause. Partnership with Volunteer Match has made it easy for everyone in the corporation to bring a difference in the community. Senior management team of United Airlines partners closely with local political and business leaders in formulation of policies which help in supporting the community financially and alleviating suffering in any way possible. To add up to its rich list of socially responsible, the company is proud to be a pioneering airline to partner with United Nations in its Global Compact program.
Environmentally, United was the first in United States to one of its planes using eco-friendly synthetic fuel. The company is working hard towards reduction of its impact on environment while at the same time devising means of curbing release of green house gases. It has continually taken a leading role both in air and on the ground thus minimizing its impact on the environment. This organization is one of the loudest crusaders of waste reduction and products' reuse. Such advocacy is clearly manifested on its operations onboard and within its facilities.
Commitment towards environmental conservation goes beyond its boundaries to cross-industry setting. Its commitment and accountability towards environmental concerns is evident in the following specific areas of action. Firstly, the airline put in place fuel efficient mechanisms which resulted in raising its fuel efficiency by 32% for the last two decades. Carbon dioxide emission was reduced by approximately 10% in a period between 2008 and 2009 as shown in improved fuel efficiency. Thirdly, recycling campaign among individuals onboard has enabled the multi-million firm to recycle more than twenty five million cans and six million plastic containers. Fourthly, in a further attempt to reduce the use of fossil fuel, electric and other fuel automobiles used in ground service facilities have been increased by 15% in the year 2009.
The company's fully endowed infrastructure provides a reliable channel of connecting and supporting community needs. With the use of its immense resources, the corporation has been able to effectively touch the lives of suffering individuals. Airplanes, personnel and international network have enabled this firm make a difference. With a keen focus on intellectual development and health care, United Airlines is interested with the youth who have a chance of growth and excellence and the entire community well being. It is no doubt that a number of lives have been touched through Airlines effort to connect its customers with non-profit making organizations. It continued to help in global humanitarian relief with the most immediate being relief missions to Haiti and supply of anti-malarial mosquito nets to Ghana.
Other more specific areas of actions include 195 million miles contributed through Mileage Plus Charity and collaboration with VolunteerMatch which enables its employees and their kinships to give back to their communities. Through contribution of more than 8.2 million dollars in form of travelling, cash and material support, the organization has partnered with community based organizations in improving the living standards of the less fortunate. On the education side, more than 15,200 school going children have encountered aviation through educational programs designed and supported by United Airlines.
Another outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility of United Airline is its contribution towards prevention and cure of serious ailments like cancer. The company supports programs dedicated towards development of drugs for cancerous treatment. For more than six years, company employees have continually taken part in anti-breast cancer walk raising 1.87 million dollars. It has established a firm relationship with organizations aimed at eliminating cancer. In partnership with Kids with Cancer, the Incorporation assisted in raising six hundred thousand dollars for cancer care and research. Its comprehensive fight against cancer also focuses on early diagnosis and treatment.
The company dedicates a substantial amount of money towards Silver Lining Foundation which advocates for free mammogram to women who cannot access testing and treatment facilities. Dr. Sandy Goldberg who is a founder of this program says "Without the support of friends at United, women would have to make a choice to live in fear or go without treatment, but because of our partnership we can continue to provide silver linings to the women of Chicago." The unending kindness of United Airlines employees has also helped register smiles on the faces of children who are undergoing cancer treatment through supply of GundÂ® teddy bears. Travelling costs of patients with cancer have been gathered for at an excess of one hundred and twenty eight million miles through partnership with its customers. Furthermore, families are able to connect with crucial medical attention through the company's Mileage PlusÂ® plan.