2008-11-03 - Delta Northwest mergerDelta and Northwest merger is official

Fusion zur größten Fluglinie der Welt<br /> On 29 October, after DoJ approval, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines merged, creating a premier global airline with service to nearly all of the world's major travel markets. The new airline, called Delta and headquartered in Atlanta, will begin its first day as a combined company with a commitment to delivering excellent service to customers in 66 countries and more than 375 worldwide cities – more than any other airline; with a dedicated base of approximately 75,000 worldwide employees; and with a best-in-class cost structure and strong liquidity balance that better positions the company to adapt to the weakening global economy.

"The airline industry faces a very difficult economic environment around the world and this merger gives Delta increased flexibility to adapt to the economic challenges ahead," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson.  "With much of the work to bring our airlines together well under way, the new Delta will be at the front of the pack in achieving the benefits of consolidation and is well positioned to navigate the tough waters ahead in a difficult economy."
With the completion of the merger, Northwest Airlines is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta. The companies will be integrated through a thoughtful process with customer benefits rolled out over the next 12-24 months, including: The addition of Delta's code to nearly all of the Northwest system by the end of 2008, creating thousands of additional connecting opportunities; immediate complimentary upgrade reciprocity for elite members of both airlines' loyalty programs, with airport lounge reciprocity continuing as usual; the launch of a fully consolidated worldwide flight schedule in advance of summer 2009; the introduction of elements of Delta's brand throughout the Northwest system beginning in spring 2009, including Delta's popular Richard Tyler designer uniforms, Delta's livery, "signature cocktails," enhanced in-flight entertainment and other onboard amenities. the consolidation of the Delta and Northwest loyalty programs, ultimately including the ability to combine miles from SkyMiles and WorldPerks accounts at a one-to-one ratio; the full integration of Delta and Northwest Web sites, kiosks, and customer-facing technology to ensure a consistent worldwide travel experience.
As a result of the merger, employees will share in the success of the new company through an expanded ownership share in the combined company.  In the coming days, Delta will distribute an equity stake to substantially all U.S.-based employees with international employees participating through cash payments in lieu of stock. "Ensuring our employees are able to share in the benefits of the merger from the beginning is a prime example of the Delta Difference," Anderson said. "By sharing ownership with Delta's people, we are not only recognizing the critical role employees will play in successfully integrating two customer-focused companies, we are also making good on a longstanding commitment that our employees will share in the success of the company."
The closing of the Delta-Northwest merger brings together two of the industry's most financially secure airlines to produce a best-in-class cost structure and an industry-leading balance sheet.  The transaction is expected to generate $2 billion or more in annual revenue and cost synergies from more effective aircraft utilization, a more comprehensive and diversified route system, and cost synergies from reduced overhead and improved operational efficiency. The company expects to incur one-time cash costs not exceeding $600 million to integrate the two airlines.  As approved by both companies' stockholders earlier this year, Northwest stockholders will receive 1.25 Delta shares for each Northwest share they own.  Based on Delta's closing stock price on Oct. 29, 2008, this exchange ratio is the equivalent of $9.99 per Northwest common share.
With its acquisition of Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines is now the world's largest airline.  From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, Delta and its Northwest subsidiary offer service to more than 375 destinations worldwide in 66 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year.  Delta's marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta and its 75,000 worldwide employees are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network.

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