Airline Industry Needs M&A Chatter

DALLAS ( TheStreet) -- Something's missing from the airline industry: Merger speculation.

Perhaps the absence of chatter is understandable, given that all eyes and ears are on United ( UAUA) and Continental ( CAL) as they move towards an imminent completion of their merger, just five months after the deal was announced.
United and Continental

That leaves little to speculate on regarding United and Continental -- with the exception of how long Cleveland will remain a hub. A deal with Ohio's attorney general assures the airline's commitment but requires success in Cleveland for the commitment to be maintained. Huh?

By the way, United and Continental want this deal so badly that they let the fox into the henhouse at Newark when they agreed to lease slots to Southwest ( LUV). How long will it be before Southwest owns the place?

Read on for a few potential pairings worth thinking about.

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