Delta and Northwest Announce Merger


After month and month of speculation, with four US airlines going under or declaring bankruptcy in the last two weeks, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines have finally announced their merger late last night. When the news broke about a possible merger that Delta Airlines is a part of, it was about talks with United Airlines as we reported on the matter earlier. The final couple sounds a little bit more logical, with both of them being members of the same Airline Alliance (SkyTeam) and also sharing membership in the group of 6 SkyTeam members that were given antitrust immunity just last Friday, that allows for integration of their Trans-Atlantic flights under the US-EU Open Skies agreement.

Delta and Northwest planes in Atlanta, Delta\'s Hub Airport

One of the major issues (so far) has been the so-called seniority list of the ~11.000 Pilots at both airlines as the two Pilots’ Unions could not come to agreement earlier. The seniority lists guarantee special rights to Pilots who reach a certain level of experience flying for the airline and actually determines which planes they can fly (which influences their wages…). But if the two airlines merge their lists, the new, combined list may have more pilots with more experience that would move others lower in the list and they would lose or not get their advantages for a few years ahead… Looks like there is a conclusion on the horizon in this issue with Delta offering a pay hike for the pilots as a compensation. As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published on Monday (14APR2008) “some people familiar with the matter say, Atlanta-based Delta will try to cut a deal with its 6,000 pilots, roll out the merger and then negotiate with Northwest’s 5,000 pilots afterward.

The deal could set off a series of other mergers, “rumours” say that United and Continental could be first in line and that combo would be bigger than Delta-Northwest, and analysts also say that American Airlines would probably intensify its search for a partner. “It’s a very difficult time for the industry,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson told Delta’s 50,000 workers Friday in his weekly “Right from Richard” recorded message. Roughly half are based at the carrier’s huge Atlanta hub. The airline is Georgia’s largest private employer.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done a very interesting comparison in February when the Delta-Northwest tie-up was first revealed, you can read the numbers here. The new, Atlanta based merged DELTA Airlines will have an annual revenue of 35 billion USD, a fleet of more than 800 aircraft, and 75.000 employees worldwide. The new airline together with its regional partners would have a network of 390 destinations in 67 countries. “We’re announcing a transaction that is about addition, not subtraction, and combines end-to-end networks that open a world of opportunities for our customers and employees,” Anderson said.

by balint01

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8 Responses to “Delta and Northwest Announce Merger”


  1. 1 balint01 April 18, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Here are the first reactions from Continental Airlines for example:

    “Continental Airlines reported a first-quarter net loss of $80 million, reversed from a $22 million profit in the year-ago period, and confirmed yesterday that it has redeemed Northwest Airlines’ “golden share” that prevented CO from entering into merger agreements.

    NWA’s golden share was contingent on the former not entering into any merger agreement. Its tie-up pact with Delta Air Lines earlier this week allowed CO to buy back the share for $100, leaving the Houston-based carrier free to explore a merger of its own. Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner said that an approved NWA-DL merger “will change the competitive landscape” of the US industry, adding that the proposed combination has caused CO to consider its “strategic” options. “We’re reviewing our continued participation” in the SkyTeam alliance, he said, but emphasized that it remained “important that we’re a major player in one of the three alliances.” He declined further comment on any merger possibilities but said, “We have flexibility.”

    by ATWNews 18APR

  2. 2 balint01 July 16, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson will run the merged DL/Northwest Airlines out of Atlanta, the carriers announced yesterday as they unveiled the senior management team for what would be the world’s largest airline, saying the team will “ensure the seamless transition of Northwest’s operations into Delta over the next 12-24 months.”

    by ATWNews 16JUL2008

  3. 3 Angela August 29, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    To whom it may concern,

    I am absolutely disgusted with the shocking service from Delta. The flight was cancelled but no passengers were called. I arrived at the airport at 3pm to check in only to be told the flight is cancelled but we can wait and see if we can get onto a flight on another airline. I was one of the first passengers there.

    I stood waiting around for two hours at Delta ticket office along with the other 4 people I had booked tickets for waiting for feedback on alternate flights. We were then told that business class passengers get priority. This is absolute discrimination. We have several meetings set up on Sunday and Monday that cannot be moved.

    We were sent from pillar to post to try arrange our own tickets with both SAA and Air France. Your staff were not trained on how to handle the situation and nobody could actually give us proper advice. We were given several different stories only to be told eventually at about 7pm they would put us on first class on Emirates but could not provide meals. We were all happy with this as it was imperative that we got to Atlanta. Eventually after running around, they told us that the Emirates check in on the system was closed and sorry they missed the check in. I have just arrived back at home at 10pm since arriving at the airport at 3pm.

    I even called Delta USA who informed me the flight is rescheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 30th, however at the airport they told us we are flying on Sunday morning and must be at the airport at 4:30am. It seemed none of your staff could guarantee this either.

    I fly on a lot of different airlines and have never had the misfortune of encountering such useless, untrained, unknowledgeable staff with a bad attitude who displayed absolute ignorance and acted as though they were doing us favours. They had one staff member sitting at the ticketing office with about 300 irate passengers who could not be helped.

    I want an upgrade on the next flight as part of the compensation and should my hotel and car hire charge me for the delay, I will be instituting a claim against Delta.

    Please give this your urgent attention and revert back to me tomorrow with positive feedback. I feel that upgrading is the very least the airline can do since all your “business” class passengers were accommodated with alternative flights this evening.

    The passengers names for upgrade are as follows:

    Julian Morelis
    Angela Webster
    Natalie Webb
    Stacey Morris
    Craig Watson

    Kind regards,

    Angela Morelis
    Telephone +** ** *** 6000
    Facsimile *** *** 4913
    Mobile +** ** *** 5330
    Email anmorelis@***********.**.**
    http://www.hugetelecom.co.za

  4. 4 balint01 August 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Dear Angela,

    First of all we are also sorry about your experience with Delta Airlines. BUT please keep in mind that our site is an airline blog, ran by private airline enthusiasts, and is not associated with any airline companies. Therefore we are not able to react to your claim.

    However, I wanted to help you, therefore I have looked up the proper channel, where you should contact Delta by probably resending your comment here above. The page from where you can resend your claim/comment is:
    http://www.delta.com/emailus/servlet/EmailUs?cmd=go

    I hope they will be able to help you.

    Good luck!

  5. 5 balint01 September 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    On 25SEP2008 Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor the carriers’ planned merger, leaving US Dept. of Justice approval as the only remaining significant potential obstacle to the combination.

    The shareholder votes came on the heels of US FAA’s acceptance of the airlines’ merger plan announed on 22SEP2008.


  1. 1 R.I.P. Northwest Airlines « Airline world Trackback on February 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm
  2. 2 United And Continental Announce Merger « Airline world Trackback on May 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm
  3. 3 United And Continental Announce Merger | 444 hotels Trackback on May 20, 2010 at 6:54 am

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