Pilot Impasse May Ground Northwest-Delta Merger

Critical seniority issue could be a deal buster
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2008 9:55 AM CDT
A Delta Connection plane taxis in the background behind a parked Northwest Airlines plane. On hold for nearly a month, the merger deal between Northwest and Delta is in danger of being called off.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – Merger talks between Delta and Northwest appear to be headed for a hard landing after pilots for the carriers called off their own negotiations over seniority issues, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The airlines boards will meet this week to decide whether the merger should go forward, but Delta's CEO is on record saying it hinges on the pilots' agreement.

The two sides can't agree on how to combine their seniority list. For pilots, seniority is critical because it determines pay and flight schedules. "I think it proves the fact that pilots can't agree on anything and shouldn't be dictating the future of mergers," one analyst told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution