Delta-Northwest Merger Close to Takeoff

Boards meet tomorrow to vote on plans that would create world's largest airline
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 6:27 AM CST
Delta-Northwest Merger Close to Takeoff
Northwest Airlines Flight 97 arrives at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., in this July 2, 2007 file photo. Executives at the nation's oldest airlines believe that size matters; that unless you have lots of planes flying at convenient times to many different cities, travelers won't...   (Associated Press)

Directors at Delta and Northwest meeting tomorrow could announce a marriage of the two airlines by day’s end if a crucial deal with the airlines’ 11,000 unionized pilots can be reached, reports the Wall Street Journal. The resulting company would be the largest airline in the world, and would almost certainly face tough scrutiny from regulators.

Air Line Pilot Association negotiators are hammering out a “conceptual” plan to blend the two groups, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, addressing issues of seniority, equity, and pay. Pilots are Delta’s only unionized employees. The deal is expected to take the form of a share exchange at little or no premium. The resulting airline would keep the Delta name. (Read more airline industry stories.)

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