Management at Delta Air Lines today reached a tentative joint agreement with its own pilots and those at Northwest Airlines set to take effect upon closing of the proposed merger between the two carriers.
Prior to the merger announcement in April, pilots at both carriers represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) attempted unsuccessfully to reach an agreement on seniority. Delta pilots then brokered a new contract ratified by ALPA last month that included pay raises and a stake in the company.
Delta management recently requested round-the-clock negotiations to reach a joint contract. At that time, Northwest ALPA union leaders stated the importance of pay parity in any new deal brokered with management.
In a statement Delta explains that the pilot groups have established a separate process designed to reach a single pilot seniority list by the close of the merger.
“Achieving a joint contract and combined seniority list in advance of the closing of the merger is something that has never been done in this industry and is a testament to the leadership of ALPA and a working together culture,” says Delta CEO Richard Anderson.
The merger between the two companies is an all stock transaction, and the carriers hope to close the deal by yearend. Once the transaction is complete, the new entity will assume the Delta name and have its headquarters in Atlanta.