Continental Airlines Timetables, Route Maps, and History from 1940 until 2009, close to the 2010 merger with United. Continental was founded in 1934 as El Paso based Varney Speedlines, becoming Denver-based Continental in 1937. It eventually moved its hub and headquarters to Los Angeles in Continental in the 1950s and then Houston in the 1980s followed the merger with Texas International. Continental was renowned for its excellent service, "Golden Jet" all the way until the early 1980s when it filed for bankruptcy in 1983 under Frank Lorenzo. In 1987, Continental merged with People´s Express and New York Air which created additional problems. The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy again in 1990. When Gordon Bethune joined as CEO in 1994, Continental began its march from "Worst to First". In 2010, United and Continental merged in what was termed a "merger of equals". The final switchover happened on March 2, 2012.