There are a few reports around today that Delta and Northwest have walked away from their merger talks. The blogs appear to be quicker to declare the merger dead than anyone else.
The difficulty, apparently, is the merging of seniority lists for the pilots, according to Marketwatch:
One possible hangup is that Delta has more junior pilots flying the better-paying routes than Northwest, Kasper said. Since Delta wants to protect its pilots’ seniority, integrating the lists probably won’t be based on date of hire or how may hours a pilot has flown — and that might be causing resentment among Northwest pilots.
According to a memo from Delta CEO Richard Anderson, it’s clear the word “merger” is an inaccurate business euphemism for “takeover,” since he wants Delta to keep the name, keep the headquarters in Atlanta, and keep the seniority of Delta pilots.
In any case, it’s far too early to declare the marriage dead.