DALLAS — Continental Airlines Inc. said Friday it is considering new alliance partners and may pull out of the SkyTeam alliance of carriers around the world.

According to people familiar with the situation, Continental continued to discuss an alliance with UAL Corp.'s United Airlines that would be designed to boost revenues for each.

United and US Airways Group Inc. confirmed Friday that they had suspended merger talks.

"Continental is continuing to review potential alliances and our membership in SkyTeam," said Continental spokeswoman Julie King in an e-mail. "We are considering alternatives to SkyTeam as we carefully evaluate which major global alliance will be best for Continental over the long term."

Houston-based Continental has also talked with British Airways and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines about joining them in an alliance. BA and American are part of another group of carriers called the oneworld alliance.

Alliances are agreements among airlines to work together to reduce costs and market themselves while continuing to fly their own planes using their own employees.

The can range from simply selling tickets aboard each other's flights to more complicated arrangements in which carriers work together on prices and schedules. They face less regulatory scrutiny and labor opposition than full mergers.

United, the No. 2 U.S. airline, had tried to merge with Continental, but Continental walked away from the talks in April after UAL reported a $537 million loss in the first quarter.

Now United hopes to bring Continental into its Star Alliance, which also includes Lufthansa and about two dozen other carriers.

Continental's partners in the SkyTeam alliance include Delta, Northwest and Air France/KLM.