Delta gaining support for merger from its pilots

Delta headquarters
Delta headquarters in Atlanta
MPR Photo/Annie Baxter

Delta Air Lines appears to be close to winning support from its pilots' union for a merger with Northwest Airlines. That could mean the airlines may announce a merger early next week.

A person with direct knowledge of the talks between Delta and its pilots union says a new contract is pretty much worked out. It is only a matter of polishing the language and running the agreement by lawyers.

Both Delta and Northwest declined to comment on the status of talks or the prospects for an imminent merger announcement.

The pilots deal does not resolve highly sensitive issue of how Northwest and Delta pilots would merge their seniority lists, leaving that issue for later.

Northwest's pilots are signalling they are unhappy with the situation. A spokesman says union officials are unaware of any developments. But he adds, negotiations that don't involve all parties are rarely successful.

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