View Full Version : Pilots agree Delta/North West merger

Phil Space
20th Feb 2008, 15:42

20th Feb 2008, 16:18
Uh, you might want to get an update on that story from a couple of days ago...

It's not a done deal yet from what I hear.

Northwest, Delta pilots still haggling over deal
Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:35am EST

CHICAGO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Leaders of the union representing pilots at Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Northwest Airlines Corp (NWA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have yet to reach a deal on the integration of seniority lists if the two airlines were to merge, a spokesman for Northwest's pilots union said on Wednesday.


Officials: Delta-Northwest Deal at Risk
By HARRY R. WEBER – 1 hour ago

ATLANTA (AP) — An impasse among pilot negotiators over determining seniority put a $20 billion deal to combine Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. in "serious jeopardy" as the companies' boards prepared to meet Wednesday, two people close to the talks told The Associated Press.


20th Feb 2008, 20:18
NWA + DAL reminds me of JFK's description of Washington D.C.- "The blending of southern efficiency and northern hospitality...."

20th Feb 2008, 20:43
NWA-Delta pilot clash blocking merger
By LIZ FEDOR, Star Tribune

Last update: February 20, 2008 - 3:27 PM

February 20, 2008

Northwest Airlines pilots risk losing pay raises of more than 30 percent included in a tentative labor agreement, because Northwest and Delta Air Lines pilot negotiators are at a virtual standstill over integrating their seniority lists, a person close to the negotiations told the Star Tribune.

The standoff between the pilot groups is blocking the announcement of a Northwest-Delta merger.

"Now the deal is at risk," the news source with knowledge of the talks said. "It is at risk by a handful, just a couple of renegade Northwest Airlines pilots who are insisting on stapling thousands of Delta pilots at the bottom of the seniority list.

"The tragedy of this is that two or three of these cowboys are going to deny 12,000 pilots and their families and tens of thousands of other Northwest employees and Delta employees the choice to improve their economic future," the source added...


Delta traditionally has been pretty generous in handing out seniority to acquired pilots, e.g. the Pan Am folks were merged onto the list at an 11 to 1 ratio. I'm not sure their generosity will take a staple job for the bottom RD's though.

Pugilistic Animus
20th Feb 2008, 21:09
Huck, that was a true gem:D

20th Feb 2008, 21:12
both great airlines

20th Feb 2008, 23:21
A couple of years ago, there was a rather heavy rate of retirement amongst senior DL captains who frankly, and correctly, feared that a possible bankruptcy on the part of DL would jeopardize their pensions. So many of them retired early and took their pensions in a lump sum.

NW air crews may have a slant towards greater seniority as a group than DL's cadre of pilots. This may be part of the holdup.

Ignition Override
21st Feb 2008, 06:53

Compared to some of them, the CEO (slime bag:8) looks like a decent guy. Let's not mention the former MEC's "Stockholm (hostage) Syndrome" in preparation to petitioning Congress, together, for giving airlines relief with pension obligations. Both opposites ( CEO and former MEC Chairman: the 'Big Game Hunter' in Montana) in the same photograph before boarding the plane to DCA-revolting and totally disgusting

Do not bet on this merger happening anytime soon, unless they are to walk over a chunk of the Delta pilot group.

1st Mar 2008, 13:31
Enjoyed reading your posts over the years but this one is so filled with negativity, resentment, judgmentalism and bitterness it is hard for me to conceive of anyone on the "red" side being any more arrogant & ingnorant than you know who. Companies who put people first you say you want, and at the same time refer to a large percentage of people/employees as arrogant, ignorant snivelers? People run companies, no? Profanity? Scumbags you call other employees, mostly mangement. All this brought into your life just because of a 'red" side; not all of course.......... And you call others arrogant and ignorant? I can imagine the conversations you have while at work. It is attitudes like yours that will kill any airline, much less a merger, no matter the good that could come of such a union for many; apparantly other than for you personally, the other pilots and other employees who run on fear of what they may lose. If Northwest does not merge with someone it is my bet NWA goes under. Oh well, those "red ninjas" will suffer same fate as the "green", no? The "snivelers and whiners" will be equals finally. Since you came from an airline that was a conglomeration of 4or 5 separate mergers one would think your fear of losing something would have lessened. You continued to progress did you not? Earned more money, flew bigger equipment, yes? Are you worse off with Northwest now than when you joined with Republic? Flying a bigger aircraft now than your side brought to the party? (DC-9's & 727's) What is your problem with a merger with Delta, other than being angry at the "red" side of NWA and hating your management? Maybe give Emirates a try, I know one is treated well there, in a different way than in the Twin Cities. No "red' side there either. Amazing. NWA is going down faster than I realized after seeing the viciousness expressed in your post much of which will have to be ameliorated to affect a merger. But I hope it takes place, for all concerned, for otherwise this kind of attitude will kill NWA and is, in fact, killing many of America's airlines at the present moment in time. Nobody is perfect, including every CEO and CFO of every company. Take a moment to try to mentally walk in their shoes and see what you would do with the airline working under the conditions that exist today. If you can run it better, do it.

1st Mar 2008, 16:46
I rode a hotel shuttle last week with a NW crew. When asked about what the new airline would be called, one dryly remarked, "They're gonna use the first word from their name, and the second word from our name- [pause] 'Delta' 'Airlines'."

Har har!

Ignition Override
2nd Mar 2008, 08:11
Mike: This might not be any consolation, but I don't blame you one bit to reacting to such careless shotgun language which I posted.
It was misdirected due to recent events, about which so many of us admittedly understand very little.

It was wrong of me to take my bitterness from the recent TA (voted no), and blame it on a long-ago merger process which just might fairly soon provide us all with a modest pay increase. Some things I heard recently linked issues whereby stapling a whole bunch of Delta guys to the bottom and other complex issues could endanger the merger. This created my bitterness. I did not give a hoot, personally or otherwise, what happened in the 80s and 90s.

I was as frustrated as the downtrodden FOs with whom we fly with that the crappy TA (I wanted former MEC Chair M. and the guys to fight longer, and with a unified pilot group) had no real cost of living increases. The previous merger did not bother me on a personal level, or otherwise, only wanting to fly narrow-bodies. This so-called TA could end up being about %50 pay cut with a little inflation and medical deductibles etc.

If our former MEC had tried to create some real unity the way it apparently happened at 'Big D', my previous post would never have begun.

If we can somehow achieve an ultra-complex deal and do measurably better ($) under a joint TA, then I'll gladly wear a t-short that says: @$$h0l% #1. ;)

You're next at bat...

2nd Mar 2008, 22:26
Once again, if you all can't get along together and play nice then someone will be losing their job....Ask the PAA, EAL, TWA, etc pilots if it's better to lose some senoirity and keep flying, or going off into foreclosure/repo land?

3rd Mar 2008, 12:14
Greetings I/Override, I have no axe to grind with you or anyone. It just doesn't connect for me the attitude you expressed in your original posting doing any good, or ever having done any good for anyone involved in the process of not getting what they want. I understand your feelings because I too spent 35 years of my life there and listened to years worth of pilots, and others, berating their company, their union, you name anything and someone will have a problem with it.

What I do find surprising is your response which was generous, which I am very grateful for, and wish all of you, be you green, red or blue a successful end to you careers with NWA, however that may occur. If the merger actually makes it through the process think of the future opportunites to rant with fresh ears listening. :uhoh:

Me Myself
7th Mar 2008, 14:25
The largest world bankrupt airline.

10th Apr 2008, 23:00
Some breaking news from Bloomberg (or, here we go again?):

Delta Accord Paves Way for Northwest Deal, People Say (Update2)

By Mary Jane Credeur and Mary Schlangenstein

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. and its pilots agreed on a tentative contract to clear the way for a merger with Northwest Airlines Corp. that would create the world's largest carrier, people familiar with the talks said.

The accord would raise pilots' pay and give them an equity stake in the combined airline, which would keep Delta's name and Atlanta headquarters, said the people, who didn't want to be identified because the plan is still private.

The proposed merger with Northwest may be announced next week, the people said...

...The airlines had been prepared to announce a combination in mid-February, people familiar with the talks have said. Those plans were postponed because the carriers' pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, weren't able to agree on a way to protect members' seniority rankings after a merger.

To work around the impasse, Delta is drawing up a new contract with just its 7,000 pilots, said the people. Northwest's 5,000 pilots would be asked to join under a single contract later.


14th Apr 2008, 03:40
From the Wall Street Journal:


Delta Aims to Unveil
Northwest Merger Pact
April 14, 2008

Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. may unveil their long-delayed merger announcement as early as Tuesday, said people familiar with the matter, in the latest move by airlines to grapple with high fuel prices and a softening economy...

Looks like Delta gave the RD's a leg up in the TA with seniority guarantees, equity and some other sweeteners. The NWA pilots will be added (or stapled) to the list after the deal.

14th Apr 2008, 11:57
Delta and NW both code share with Skyteam members (KLM and AF)... could be some consolidation of those routes since Open Skies came into place?


15th Apr 2008, 00:14
From CNN.com:

Delta, Northwest approve merger

The directors of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines approved Monday a deal for the two companies to merge and create the world's largest airline, according a statement from Delta.

Full story soon.

15th Apr 2008, 00:24

15th Apr 2008, 01:10
Check it out...


15th Apr 2008, 01:38
Just had an e-mail from NWA World Perks - of all places(!) announcing that it's a done-deal. Will be called Delta Airlines.

Hmmmmm... any one remember that so-called 'merger' between Daimler and Chrysler.:} = hundreds of millions in fees and bonuses, followed by near-bankruptcy within 2-3 years and ultimately a v.v. messy divorce....... those investment bankers just don't give up.

15th Apr 2008, 02:27

Here's the new website...

15th Apr 2008, 03:06
The deal is for the merger of DL and NW with a stock swap between the two companies. It is subject to regulatory approval and that will be no mean feat to get the regulatory approval given the ownership of part of CO by NW and part of NW by KL.

There is also an undertaking to complete the negotiations and the impasse on the pilot seniority negotiations before the proposed merger is completed with a timeline of six months. Until then it is business as usual according to press reports.

If the merger goes through, it will be interesting to see how the fleet is reconfigured. As it stands, allowing for the disposal of the NW DC-9s, it will be a mixed Airbus / Boeing short haul and long haul and a regional fleet of Bombardier , Embrauer, ATR and SAAB.

Interesting times ahead and stories already of a possible UAL and CO merger in the press which will be in most respects bigger than the DL and NW merger, both dwarfing AA if it remains as it is.

15th Apr 2008, 04:04

"Delta and NW both code share with Skyteam members (KLM and AF)... could be some consolidation of those routes since Open Skies came into place?" (sorry, new to forums & don't know how 2 Quote!"

Probably the most sensible comment so far.

AF is flying LHR to LAX under Openskies and British Airways is launching "Openskies".

But please see here also


Let's remind ourselves of the Big Picture!!

15th Apr 2008, 04:08
I really don't see how this will save any money.
The problem is fuel is up, fares are not. How will this increase fares?
They cut flights or even hubs and start ups will jump at the gates.
It will take a long time to get any economies of scale. Reminds me of Air Canada taking over Canadian. What a mixed bag fleet, dueling pilots, incompatible procedures etc Air Canada went bankrupt.

Seems like a deal only Wall Street would love.

15th Apr 2008, 04:09
This is the letter being sent to Worldperks members, it went out a little early.

Dear [dixieflyer],

As a valued Northwest Airlines customer and WorldPerks® member, I wanted you to be among the first to hear that we have announced a merger with Delta Air Lines. Subject to regulatory review, our two airlines are joining forces to create America’s premier global airline which, upon closing of the merger, will be called Delta Air Lines.

By combining Northwest and Delta, we are building a stronger, more resilient airline that will be a leader in providing customer service and value. Our combined airline will offer unprecedented access to the world, enabling you to fly to more destinations, have more flight choices and more ways than ever to earn and redeem your WorldPerks miles.

You can be assured that your WorldPerks miles and Elite program status will be unaffected by this merger. In addition, you can continue to earn miles through use of partners like WorldPerks Visa®. And once the new Delta Air Lines emerges you can look forward to being a part of the world’s largest frequent flyer program with expanded benefits.

The combined Delta Air Lines will serve more U.S. communities and connect to more worldwide destinations than any global airline. Our hubs – both Delta’s and Northwest’s – will be retained and enhanced. We will be the only U.S. airline to offer direct service from the United States to all of the world’s major business centers in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and around North America.

Both airlines bring tremendous strengths to this new partnership. Our complementary service networks form an end-to-end system that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. This is a merger by addition, not subtraction, which means all of our hubs – both Northwest’s and Delta’s – will be retained. In addition, building on both airlines’ proud, decades-long history of serving small communities, we plan to enhance global connections to small towns and cities across the U.S.

While we work to secure approval of our merger, which may take up to 6 to 8 months, it will be business-as-usual at both airlines. We will continue to operate as independent airlines and the people of Northwest will remain focused on providing you with the very best in safe, reliable and convenient air travel. At the same time, both airlines will be planning for a seamless integration of our two airlines, one that delivers to you the enhanced benefits that will earn – and retain – your preference.

As we work through this process, we will keep you informed at every step along the way. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you on your next Northwest flight.


Bob Soukup
Managing Director, WorldPerks

15th Apr 2008, 09:43
So, any predictions as to who'll be the next couple to walk down the merger aisle (http://www.fleetbuzzeditorial.com/2008/04/15/merge-buy-or-die/)?

CO/UA may seem an odd pairing, and I wouldn't be surprised if AA threw a spanner in the works...

15th Apr 2008, 09:55
I really don't see how this will save any money.

1. There is excess capacity in the airline business.

2. There are inefficient aircraft being flown.

3. A large percentage of the current passenger strata will simply not fly if they have to pay anywhere near a sustainable fare.

4. The end result of the merger will be a company about the size of Delta now, with a few more asian routes. MSP, MEM and CVG will cease to be hubs. The DC-9's will go away. Most CRJ's will go away. The end result will be a businessman's airline.

You know, my father flew for NWA from 1968-1999, retiring as a 747-200 captain and check airman.

I have an old first-class menu from around 1972. On the back is the old NWA route structure. They served, maybe, 10 cities in the U.S., all of them feeding to these massive trunk lines across the pacific, where the network was much more extensive.

No, you couldn't fly NWA from Pensacola to Dayton back then. But they were so in the black that they wrote checks for 747's, and owned most of the hotels they stayed in around the world.....

15th Apr 2008, 10:10

You may well be right, but the theory is that when you throw 2 operations in the same field together - there are some one time synergies - that can be massive - and there will be some ongoing operational synergies that will show up repeatedly on the bottom line, every year. See Huck's post for some details.

This is especially true on the international networks I expect - thake somewhere that both airlines fly to - they only need one set of staff (all be it perhaps slightly expanded) and can probably reduce gate requirements and due to new mass get better deals from local suppliers.

That is the theory - practice - good mergers are rare (there is always blood and often a lot of bad feelings) and efficient mergers ever rarer. I've been in 12 takeovers or mergers and 2 were very successful the others so-so - but all were painful.

The biggest risk is the good people leave of their own accord and you are left with the worst of both bunches!!!

The solution for anybody involved - keep your head down - work perfectly and very quickly - be helpful, polite and efficient, if not friendly, towards your new colleagues and management - get as many brownie points with the customers as you can - for the new company (and automatically for yourself)

Good luck to all and for those willing to move - think of China, India or the UAE, if your family/partner situation allows - that's where the work is.

Golf Charlie Charlie
15th Apr 2008, 10:26
Huck, how can there be excess capacity when all we read about is rising load factors (85-90% across the board now) and in fact most flights are operating full ?

I think the fundamental problem is still one of costs exceeding revenues.

15th Apr 2008, 11:02
As I understand it, there are those who pay their way (first, business class, late walk-up coach class).

Then there are those who don't ($375 round-trip JFK-CDG, but only if you book in advance, non-refundable).

So load factors don't mean squat, and are more of an annoyance.

For instance: this weekend I had to fly over to europe for a maintenance test flight. Hair on fire, be there yesterday, AOG (aircraft on ground) etc. In four hour's notice I got a round-trip business fare for $6000.

The last leg, on the way home, was on a pitifully cramped RJ operated by Pinnacle airlines. Sitting beside me was a woman flying DTW-BHM to visit her daughter. I know from experience that if she shopped early and used the internet she paid ~$280.

Therefore, you could cull her from the list and not make a hiccup on NWA's bottom line, in the grand scheme of things.

The biggest risk is the good people leave of their own accord and you are left with the worst of both bunches!!!

As good a definition of the Free Market as you can get.....

15th Apr 2008, 11:40
A bit of a shame since CVG is actually a rather nice airport to fly into.

Did that one once to CDG and it was a really pleasant layover.


15th Apr 2008, 16:22
You may well be right, but the theory is that when you throw 2 operations in the same field together - there are some one time synergies - that can be massive - and there will be some ongoing operational synergies that will show up repeatedly on the bottom line, every year.Indeed. How long did it take NW to iron out the Republic takeover ? Years IIRC.

16th Apr 2008, 06:16
The Deltoids got a LOA with 24 months furlough protection, wonder who will hit the streets when the NWA DC-9's are parked after the merger?

NWA MEC says they will torpedo the deal, we'll see...

16th Apr 2008, 10:22


16th Apr 2008, 16:04
Thank you for that link :ok: Whenever I think of NWA I think of Garrison Keillor and that piece reminds me why. :8