Continental Airlines, which is currently in talks to combine with the parent company of United Airlines, is also discussing options with the parent of American Airlines, according to a report.

The Continental talks with UAL Corp which runs United are in the early stages according to CEO Larry Kellner, according to a recorded message for workers, Bloomberg reported. The status of the AMR Corp.'s American Airlines discussions were not characterized because the sessions are private, a person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that Continental's discussions with United were in an advanced stage.

``We're not in the final stages of negotiations with United Airlines,'' Kellner said in the message, according to Bloomberg. ``Our preference is to remain independent if the industry stays as it is. If the landscape changes, we'll move quickly and aggressively to defend and protect the interests of you, our Continental co-workers, our shareholders, customers and communities we serve.''

Shares of continental Airlines rose 99 cents, or 3.45 percent to $29.69. UAL Corp shares rose 32 cents, or 0.86 percent to $37.35. AMR Corp. rose 44 cents, or 2.97 percent to $15.25.