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Continental Airlines President Jeff Smisek says the carrier will consider merging with United Airlines if the new combination of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines becomes a profitable hookup.

Smisek said today in an interview in Germany that Continental’s focus for now is on its new membership in the Star Alliance, in which its biggest partners are United and Deutsche Lufthansa.

Continental joined the Star Alliance just last week after quitting the SkyTeam group dominated by the merged Delta/Northwest and Air France/KLM. If the Delta/Northwest combination proves too potent, Smisek said in a Bloomberg Television interview, a Continental merger with United might make sense.

“We are watching Delta to see whether Delta outperforms us financially,” Smisek said in Frankfurt, where he was marking Continental’s new affiliation with Lufthansa. “They’ve gotten bigger, they’ve gotten more complex, but they haven’t gotten profitable.”

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Article courtesy of: cleveland.com