RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
And two other industry giants are readying for battle. U.S. Airways has increased its offer for Delta Airlines to more than $10 billion. The new bid puts more pressure on Delta's management but there may be another suitor in the wings.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN: Delta, the nation's third largest airline, is slated to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this year. And it said it wants to do that on its own, not as part of a merged company. But that hadn't deterred U.S. Airways. Last November, it made an unsolicited $8 billion bid for Delta. Yesterday, it upped its bid to more than 10 billion.
Jim Corridore is an airline equity analyst at Standard & Poor's.
Mr. JIM CORRIDORE (Airline Equity Analyst, Standard & Poor's): I think that U.S. Air feels that they can bring out significant cost out of the combination of the two companies and get additional revenue synergies, and that combination represent a stronger company than they do on a stand-alone basis.
KAUFMAN: But airline industry analyst and consultant Michael Boyd says a merger of U.S. Air and Delta would hurt just about everyone.
Mr. MICHAEL BOYD (Airline Industry Analyst): Consumers will have fewer choices and higher fares. And the U.S. Air offer for Delta is specifically aimed at reducing competition.
KAUFMAN: Delta issued a statement Wednesday saying it would review U.S. Air's latest offer but indicated it did not welcome the revised bid. But there may be a third option. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Delta is considering a possible combination with Northwest Airlines. Northwest had no comment.
Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.