Tag Archives: Delta Airlines

United-USAirways Deal Nears

flight attendantJust weeks after Northwest Airways and Delta Airlines announced their merger plans, it appears that United Airlines and USAirways will soon make their own announcement. If pulled off, a United-USAirways merger would create the world’s second largest airline just behind the newly-merged Northwest-Delta entity which will be called Delta Airlines.

Flying as United Airlines, the newly-merged airline is expected to keep its headquarters in Chicago, but be controlled by USAirways management. USAirways was bought out by America West in 2005, but the airline kept the better known USAirways name.

We’ve Been Down This Road Before

If the United-USAirways deals sounds familiar, the Chicago Tribune

recently reminded its readers that these airlines had announced a deal in 2000, that collapsed 14 months later. Opposition from regulatory and union officials ditched those plans and a slowing economy was also being blamed for the earlier collapse.

Gates To Open Up

Certain east coast US gates controlled by USAirways and United could suddenly be freed up if the merger goes through. Likely, regulators would force the newly-merged entity to cede gates at important airports, including Reagan National in Washington, DC, allowing JetBlue, Virgin America, and Air Tran to bid on available gates.

Other Industry News

Most of the merger talk these days has come about as airlines face record jet fuel prices. A rash of smaller airlines have already declared bankruptcy with several closing their doors permanently. However, a few airlines are hoping to make it through the current crisis including:

  • Silverjet, which is the last of three air carriers flying business class only passengers between New York and London (after MAXjet and EOS’ demise) has been in talks with Lufthansa and other interested parties to purchase the airline. However, Silverjet CEO Lawrence Hunt is reluctant to sell citing market conditions as the chief reasons to keep Silverjet off the market.

Oil Dips Slightly

One glimmer of light for the airlines is the price of oil which actually dropped slightly

by 56 cents to $125.40 for June crude delivery. Not that bright of a light, that is for certain, but one the airlines can use if only for the moment.

Northwest-Delta Merger Nears

Northwest and Delta Airlines are well down the road to merging their operations, pending the ironing out of pilot seniority rules. Once the merger is announced, which is expected to occur any day now, the new entity is expected to be called Delta Airlines.

Northwest Airlines

Legacy Air Carriers

Both Northwest and Delta are considered legacy carriers, airlines that got their start in the earliest days of commercial flying. In 1926 Northwest Airways

came to life and two years later Delta Air Service

was launched. Along with American, United, Continental and USAirways, the Big 6 are the nation’s oldest air carriers.

Battered By Bankruptcy

Both airlines fared extremely poorly following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, hastening a decline that had begun many years earlier. High overhead, surging fuel costs, and management-labor issues have hampered these airlines. As a result, both airlines lost tens of billions of dollars and shaved their respective workforces by thousands of employees.

Delta Airlines

The World’s Biggest Airline

A NWA-Delta merger would immediately create the world’s largest air carrier, which is likely to begin a wave of additional consolidations particularly in the US. Combined, the newly merged entity would have a fleet of more than 800 aircraft at their disposal, not including previously ordered aircraft.

Don’t Look For A “Now Hiring” Sign Anytime Soon

Prospective employees who are looking for work with the new air carrier are likely to find the pickings slim. Additional crew layoffs are expected and a downsizing of overall operations will take place. Instead, opportunities at current NWA-Delta subsidiaries such as Mesaba Airlines, Compass Airlines, and Pinnacle Airlines should still be available.