2 Airline Mega Mergers Prepare for Takeoff

Delta-Northwest marriage looms; United eyes Continental
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 3:05 AM CST
A Northwest Airlines jet taxis towards a gate at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich., in this Aug. 10, 2006, file photo. Northwest Airlines Corp. chief Doug Steenland sent an internal memo...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The airline industry is bracing for what would be a mammoth double wedding, as merger talks between Delta and Northwest airlines shift into second gear, and Continental and United Airlines begin their courtship. Currently on the Delta-Northwest plate is a market price stock-for-stock transaction, with no premium for either company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tabled negotiations between the parties resumed this week, after the two sky behemoths reached preliminary resolutions about how the merged airline would be structured. Next on the checklist is passing governmental antitrust review, which both companies are eager to do before President Bush leaves office. United would like to pursue Continental at a similarly fast clip, although Continental officials still claim they want to stay independent.