Air France/KLM To Invest In Combined Airline
No one is commenting publicly on the
matter, of course... but unnamed sources say executives with Delta
Air Lines and Northwest Airlines have reached agreement on major
terms of a rumored merger between the two carriers, that would
create the largest US airline by passenger traffic.
The joined airline will keep the Delta name, according to
sources cited by Bloomberg, and will be based in Atlanta, GA. Delta
CEO Richard Anderson (right) will run the combined airline, they
Air France/KLM will invest in the combined airline, the reports
state, in exchange for a board seat. The size of Air France's
potential stake hasn't been set.
Spokespeople with Delta, Northwest, and Air France continued to
remain mum on the matter, as has become tradition since talks
reportedly began late last year.
As ANN reported, Air
France-KLM -- which partners with both Delta and Northwest in the
SkyTeam alliance -- said in January it was eager to offer strategic
or financial backing for a merger between the two.
Adding credibility to the reports was official word from Delta
on Wednesday, that Anderson agreed to waive millions of dollars in
payments which would be due him under terms of his contract if a
merger took place.
"The personnel and compensation committee of Delta's board of
director has accepted his offer," a Delta spokesman told
The same reports, however, suggested Anderson might be displaced
in the merger... so who knows?
As for a timetable, it's looking less likely we'll hear an
official merger announcement this week, as some analysts had
predicted just a few days ago. Talks within the Air Line Pilots
Association to resolve issues involved in combining
pilot workforces are reportedly proceeding slowly.
Reuters states insiders believe a merger announcement is now
expected "within weeks."