According to a report by CNN tonight, Delta has announced it’s long rumored merger with Northwest has been approved by both airlines. This merger was supposed to happen months ago, but the airlines were holding out on an announcement until the pilot groups at each company could come to a seniority agreement. The pilots, both represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, were unable to negotiate a mutually agreeable seniority list. The airlines were trying to avoid the acrimonious situation that currently exists between the USAirways and former America West pilots that is threatening the combined airline.
The Delta name and Atlanta headquarters will be kept, and Delta will become the world’s largest airline, a position held previously by American Airlines. Delta is hoping that a quick resolution to their pilot contract, which would eventually apply to both pilot groups, might make the merger a success.
Northwest Airlines hold a ‘golden share’ in Continental Airlines which has prevented Continental from seeking their own merger. Any deal involving Northwest would allow Continental to be freed from any veto power that Northwest has. Look for a possible Continental and United announcement shortly.
Update: Delta and Northwest have already launched a site with details of their plan for world domination.