The Delta-Northwest merger will create the world's biggest airline—but that title could fall before the ink is even dry on the deal as industry pressures force other carriers into shotgun weddings, the Houston Chronicle reports. Analysts believe United and Continental would be a good match and a deal between the two is widely expected, possibly in a matter of weeks.
The creation of the merged airline behemoths, triggered by record fuel prices, will change the face of the industry, attracting close attention from antitrust regulators and leaving American Airlines, currently the biggest US carrier, slipping down the rankings. "American is like the last one at the dance," said an industry expert. It "might hook up with a smaller carrier."