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Delta May Announce Northwest Merger Next Week


Delta Air Lines is urging its union leaders to cede parts of a pilots' labor contract so it can move closer to merging with Northwest Airlines, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources who knew about the situation.

If talks are fruitful, the airlines seek to announce their long-pending merger as early as next week and gather support from Northwest pilots later, the report said on Thursday.

Delta is promising 6,000 aviators pay rises, equity and a seat on the board of the combined airline if the union agrees to its request, the Journal said, quoting those sources.

Merger talks between the airlines cooled in March when pilots from both sides failed to agree on how seniority should work for the roughly 12.000 pilots in the combined carrier.

But talks were revived, and Delta and its pilots have been discussing a new contract that would be valid if the merger goes through, the Journal reported earlier, citing sources familiar with talks.

Delta was not available for comment and a Northwest spokesman declined to comment.