Person close to Delta, NWA talks says airlines closer to deal

Merger partners?
For about four years, Delta and Northwest have had a partnership in which they sell seats on each other's planes and integrate their frequent flier programs. But experts doubt such business ties between the two companies make a merger more likely.
Photo courtesy of Michael Carter

Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines are inching closer to a combination that would create the nation's largest carrier.

That's according to a person briefed on the discussion who talked with The Associated Press.

The source said Delta's board of directors is expected to meet over the next several days. The source was not authorized to talk as the negotiations entered a sensitive stage and asked not to be named.

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, based in Atlanta, is reportedly in merger talks with both United and Northwest. Georgia officials hope any merger would strengthen Delta's presence in their state, but Minnesota officials want Northwest to remain headquartered in the Twin Cities.
David McNew/Getty Images

A Delta spokeswoman said she could not comment beyond the airline's past statements that it is reviewing its strategic options.

A spokeswoman for Northwest declined to comment.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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