AMERICAS: NW-Delta merger still in limbo

The potential Northwest Airlines-Delta Air Lines merger is stuck in limbo after pilots and state politicians continue to pose significant hurdles. NWA’s hometown paper, the Star Tribune, quoted a source calling the merger agreement "ready to sign" as soon as the respective pilot unions resolve issues concerning seniority. Reuters reported that US$445 million in loans […]


The potential Northwest Airlines-Delta Air Lines merger is stuck in limbo after pilots and state politicians continue to pose significant hurdles. NWA’s hometown paper, the Star Tribune, quoted a source calling the merger agreement "ready to sign" as soon as the respective pilot unions resolve issues concerning seniority. Reuters reported that US$445 million in loans and lease concessions provided to NWA prior to its exit from bankruptcy are contingent upon its maintaining a hub and headquarters in Minnesota.

"They have a legal commitment to this state, and we expect them to uphold it," a Minneapolis Airports Commission spokesperson told the news service, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty reportedly wrote a letter to the CEOs of both carriers saying, "We trust and expect these commitments to be honored." A spokesperson for Pawlenty told Reuters that the airlines would discuss the issue "at the appropriate time, after a merger is announced." Separately, the Star Tribune reported that Air France KLM will invest US$750 million in the combined Delta/ NWA. It is a SkyTeam partnerof both US carriers.