Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
THE PLANNED MERGER of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines now looks unlikely to get the go-ahead before this autumn and - for the time being at least - prospects of other US partnerships appear to have dimmed.
Chief executives Richard Anderson (Delta) and Douglas Steenland (Northwest) appeared before the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in mid-May to offer much-needed reassurances that although the combined carrier would be headquartered at Delta's Atlanta base, it would retain a strong presence in Northwest's Minnesota home territory.
Media speculation surrounding other US carriers' intentions has had Continental Airlines talking to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, with the latter also talking to US Airways, which merged with America West just three years ago.
Continental appears to have pulled back from the merger brink, saying: "We have significant cultural, operational and financial strengths compared to the rest of the industry, and we want to protect and enhance those strengths - which we believe would be placed at risk in a merger with another carrier in today's environment," it said in a statement.
However, it also said it would continue to review potential alliances and its membership of SkyTeam (the airline alliance led by Delta and Air France/KLM) and as BBT went to press, a formal invitation to join the Star Alliance was extended to Continental.
The possibility of a tie-up between United Airlines and US Airways seems to have receded.
The Air Line Pilots Association had made clear its "serious concerns" about such a deal, arguing that US Airways has still not fully integrated with America West.
United's chief executive Glenn Tilton had scheduled a meeting with US Airways boss Douglas Parker, but later said it "had decided not to continue talks on a possible merger".