The two top Delta Air Lines executives, including CEO Richard Anderson (right), broke silence on a possible merger with Northwest Airlines, telling Delta’s employees that the Atlanta-based carrier has yet to “arrive at a potential transaction that meets all of our principles” for a merger or combination. The employee memo, the first such detailed communication from either Delta or Northwest Airlines since merger discussions became public knowledge, suggests that any possible big step toward domestic consolidation is faltering. See Left Field for the complete Delta memo and more, including an IAG podcast here about the labour issues.
As an update, Northwest chief exective Doug Steenland told the airline’s people saying that it too placed a premium on job preservation:
Employee Update from Doug Steenland Regarding Possible Airline Consolidation
February 26, 2008
In previous employee communications, I have committed to keep you updated as we consider strategic alternatives related to airline consolidation. Needless to say, there has been a tremendous amount of speculation on potential airline mergers.We continue to believe that consolidation among the network carriers is inevitable. Given that, our Board of Directors and management team are prepared to consider positively a transaction that would provide greater long-term security and growth opportunities for our employees; create value for our shareholders; and benefit our customers and the communities we serve.
Through such a transaction, our goal would be to create the strongest possible foundation for the airline. We continue to consider strategic alternatives based on these criteria. We have many strengths: we have the best employees in the industry, we run a great airline, and we operate our airline with a commitment to doing what’s best for our employees and our customers.
As always, thank you for making Northwest Airlines the world-class airline we are today and continuing to position us for a successful future.