Delta, Northwest Execs: Merger Would Ease Gas Burden

Dems skeptical, see 'cascade' of deals
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 3:51 PM CDT
Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson, right, and Northwest Chief Executive Officer Douglas Steenland, left.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – The CEOs of Delta and Northwest took their case for a merger to Capitol Hill today, where they argued that they would be better equipped to deal with surging gas prices as a single company. Both businesses had big first-quarter losses, and the executives told lawmakers they’d be better competition for foreign airlines as a team, the AP reports.

“Oil is a game changer,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson said; indeed, jet fuel now costs $3.50 a gallon in New York, compared to $2 one year ago. But House Democrats weren’t so sure, as the Judiciary Committee chair worried about a “cascade of other mergers” if the deal were to be approved. He also expressed concern about job cuts and soaring fares.