Delta-Northwest Deal May Be Back On, Without Pilot Input

Dispute over seniority scotched initial merger agreement
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 4:41 PM CDT
Delta-Northwest Deal May Be Back On, Without Pilot Input
Northwest Airlines jets are shown parked at their gates at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

Northwest is trying to resuscitate the Delta merger that nearly went through in February with a deal that wouldn’t need pilot agreements or include anticipated salary increases, the Wall Street Journal reports. The pilots' inability to agree on seniority rules appeared to derail the deal, which didn't require labor agreements; both parties want it fast-tracked so the Bush Justice Department staffers will still be in a position to vet it.

The new airline would have 11,000 pilots; the pending deal would have given them all raises, allowed them to negotiate their own seniority structure, and limited layoffs. Delta wouldn't comment, but the carrier's hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported that the CEO and president, who were scheduled to take separate route-inaugurating flights this weekend, have canceled their travel plans. (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)

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