Two major U.S. airlines have won approval to merge.

United Airlines is to purchase Continental Airlines to create the world's largest air carrier.

In order for the merger to overcome anti-trust concerns, rival Southwest Airlines had to be given take-off and landing rights at the international airport in Newark, New Jersey - just outside New York City.  The airport is a key Continental Airlines hub.

Shareholders are scheduled to meet September 17 to approve the deal.

This is the first major airline merger in the United States since 2008 when Delta Airlines acquired Northwest.  Government approval followed an antitrust review by the U.S. Justice Department.

The merger is expected to be completed by October 1.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.