Looks like these airline mergers are going to happen

I posted about it a month ago and things seem to have continued moving in the direction of consolidation since then, with Delta and NorthWest the likely first pairing. Having learned from the US Air/America West fiasco (which is still in progress, years later) both carriers have involved their pilots unions during this phase of the discussions so that they can actually have the seniority issues figured out prior to the merger. The merger of those two would create the largest carrier in the world.

There’s a lot of talk about how a merger would be used to reduce capacity in the system, allowing carriers to increase fares and yields in some markets. In the case of a NW/DL merger there is very little overlap of routes, so the cuts may be harder than not to actually make happen. Also, the mix of planes that the two carriers have would make the integration and savings pretty hard to realize.

The passengers are going to lose in just about every permutation of consolidation that I can see, with increased fares, fewer flight options and no increase in service quality. Still, it’ll be fun to see how it all plays out if and when it does happen.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.