Delta, Northwest Close to Merger After Revived Talks

But pilot dispute could put deal on the skids
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2008 3:40 PM CDT
Delta Airlines hopes to resolve a seniority dispute with its pilots before settling on terms of a merger.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
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(Newser) – Delta and Northwest Airlines are readying a merger that could be announced as soon as Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal. But disputes over the deal’s financial terms and handling of pilot seniority threaten to scuttle the union. Negotiations between the two carriers broke down last week but were revived this weekend with the hope of reaching an agreement by tomorrow.

Neither side needs the approval of its combined 11,000 pilots to pursue a merger. But sources weren’t sure talks could proceed without their blessing, and acrimony with the labor groups could stall the already much-delayed deal, especially as it faces a Justice Department anti-trust review. The new company would be the airline industry's largest by traffic.