Delta Air Lines has reached a deal with its 7,000 pilots that is expected to allow a long-delayed merger with Northwest Airlines to take off, Bloomberg reports. The airlines plan to announce the merger next week, sources said. The new airline would carry the Delta name and jet past American Airlines to become the world's largest carrier.
"It always made strategic, long-term sense for these companies," said securities analyst Michael Derchin. "With oil at $110 per barrel and the weakening economy, Delta probably got to the point where they felt like they needed to move ahead.'' The deal stalled over how to combine seniority among pilots after the merger.