Delta, Continental in merger talks
US airlines Continental and Delta are holding preliminary talks on a possible merger, the Washington Post reported Saturday, February 3. Continental would acquire the much larger Delta in the proposed merger, industry sources told the daily. This is because of a complicating role played by Northwest Airlines, which has a veto over any takeover of Continental by a third airline. Northwest has no veto power however, if Continental is the acquiring airline.
Delta is the third-largest airline in the United States after United and American. According to the newspaper, a Continental-Delta merger would give the combined airline 26.7 percent of the airline passenger market. The proposed marriage comes as the US airline industry is experiencing a shakeup.
American Airlines is seeking to acquire bankrupt Trans World Airlines, and the United Airlines proposing a $11.6 billion merger with US Airways. The Justice Department is expected to rule by April 2 on the proposed merger of US Airways and United Airlines. The American-TWA deal needs the approval of a federal bankruptcy court. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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