Boeing announced Tuesday that former Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Kellner has joined its board. The jet-maker always had...

Boeing announced Tuesday that former Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Kellner has joined its board.

The jet-maker always had a tight relationship with the airline. Kellner’s predecessor as head of Continental, Gordon Bethune, was a former Boeing executive and the airline flew an all-Boeing fleet.

The airline merged with United — when the two still-separate operations are combined it will become the world’s largest airline — and is headed by Kellner’s successor at Continental, Jeff Smisek.

Boeing and Airbus are currently in discussions with the enlarged United, vying for a huge order for up to 200 single-aisle jets expected to be announced by early next year.

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Kellner, 52, is currently president of Emerald Creek Group, a private equity firm based in Houston. He headed Continental from 2004 through 2009.