April 14th, 2008 by Mike

The news is out that Delta and Northwest plan on merging. If you follow the aviation industry, this is hardly a headline. The merger has been in the works for months.

What is really fascinating here is the labor relations aspect. Delta said all along that it wouldn’t go through a merger without the support of it’s pilots union. The Northwest pilots weren’t going to be happy with any decision regarding this merger, so they got shut out of the talks, and the Delta pilots are sitting happy, and the Northwest pilots are pouting and saying they’ll oppose the merger.

This is sounding a lot like the US Airways/America West merger of a few years ago. America West bought US Airways (keeping the US Airways name) and prevented the old US Airways from going belly up. Northwest isn’t in the best financial position and flies a fleet of ancient DC9 aircraft. I think Delta is rescuing Northwest, so the pilots should sit down, shut up, accept the seniority consolidation, and be thankful they have jobs. Sure the 747 pilots are going to get bumped down to flying 777s, but it’s not like they’re going to the complete bottom of the seniority list.

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