Merger talks between Delta and Northwest — the nation's third and fifth largest airlines — could be over.
Executives at the two airlines had hoped that their pilots would agree on labor issues before proceeding with a deal. But Delta's pilots just told their bosses that they reached an impasse with Northwest pilots over the critical issue of seniority.
David Field of Airline Business Magazine calls that the death knell for the merger.
"I cannot see them going ahead if you have a lack of agreement on their most important and most highly paid workforces," he says.
The two airlines together would have created the biggest airline in the world.