Sunday, February 04, 2001

Report: Delta in merger talks

Enquirer wire services

        A Washington Post article quoting unnamed “industry sources” reported that Delta and Continental airlines have begun preliminary merger talks.

        The Post's report quotes the source as saying that Continental would acquire the much larger Delta.

        Northwest can veto takeover of Continental by a third airline.

        This veto control is one of the terms of Northwest's former controlling interest in Continental.

        Delta is the nation's third largest airline and is the dominant airline at Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. However, airline officials would not comment about the Washington Post article.

        “Delta has a long standing policy of not commenting on rumors regarding mergers or consolidations,” said Delta spokesman Reid Davis.

        The Post article said a merger between Delta and Continental would give the combined airline 26.7 percent of the airline passenger market.

        Delta, which is also awaiting word on a strike vote by its pilots union, ranked last out of the nation's 11 airlines in on-time arrivals for December, according to recently released U.S. Department of Transportation data.

        In December, Delta flights arrived at their destinations within 15 minutes of schedule, 56.1 percent of the time.

        In December, Delta canceled 10.1 percent of its flights, citing a drop in pilots' voluntary overtime requests, which are used to fill out about 5 percent of its 2,700-flight daily schedule.


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