Delta, Northwest deal moving closer

The Financial Times reports Northwest Airlines and Delta have shared details of their merger proposals with labor groups. The two airlines still need to determine whether Air France-KLM, their mutual European ally, will invest in the combined company, according to the newspaper.

Reuters says Delta and Northwest are trying to work out as much as possible behind the scenes before making a decision on whether to move forward with a proposal. “We haven’t seen that before,” airline analyst Bill Swelbar said of the patient approach with labor. Reuters cites sources as saying the strategy comes from serious problems US Airways had with combining pilots in one contract after it merged with America West Airlines in 2005.

It’s not a bad strategy, says US News and World Report, in a profile of the latter merger called “How to merge two airlines.”

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