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Airline merger would have a big-city impact

21 January 2008

A merger between Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Northwest (NWA) or United (UAUA) would greatly extend the reach of the resulting airline, giving it influence over service and fares in more major U.S. business markets than any of them has today.

A Delta-United deal would be an industry game-changer, giving the combined carrier heft in eight of the USA’s 12 biggest business markets, according to a USA TODAY analysis of schedule data from OAGback Aviation Solutions. The analysis combines the current shares of each carrier in the big markets, establishing a rough estimate of the share the combined carrier might control.

None of the airlines has publicly confirmed merger talks, but outsiders last week, including U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., confirmed Delta-Northwest merger talks and the possibility that Delta-United talks could heat up.

source: USA Today

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