Northwest (NWA) could not get pilots in line for a merger with Delta (DAL), so it is going to try to move forward without them. It can get ready for a pilot’s strike that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Northwest and Delta have been talking merger for several months. The pilots at the airlines have not been able to agree on seniority of a combined pool of fly-boys and this has held up the deal. Northwest wants none of that. According to The Wall Street Journal, NWA’s "jumpstarted deal wouldn’t include terms of a combined pilot labor agreement and the salary enhancements previously foreseen."
A married-up company can watch a pilot’s strike take it down the drain.
The benefits of merging airlines is hardly clear anyway. Fuel costs will stay high, so there is little benefit there. Combining customer service means putting together computer reservations systems, Glitches in this process almost always anger customers and probably drive them to other carriers. Cutting employees like mechanics who are parts of unions causes the remaining workers to push for higher compensation.
Competing airlines usually try to use the mess created to pick up unhappy passengers.
Man the picket lines. The merger is probably going through.
Douglas A. McIntyre