Delta: Maybe that Merger Stuff Wasn’t Such a Bad Idea

Everyone and their mother will comment on the news about Delta exploring mergers with either Northwest or United, so I don’t need to pile on to that other than to say what many have already said before:  airline mergers are notoriously difficult for many reasons (labor, operations, technology), and few have succeeded.  Putting two not-quite-strong-enough companies together does not make one very strong company.  And I’ll agree with analyst Michael Boyd who has noted in the past that the idea that merging will lead to less capacity is bunk — someone will always come in and fill the void.  I’m sure we’ll hear lots about this in the coming months, but just know that it will be messy (just ask US Airways and America West, two much smaller airlines that are struggling mightily from their merger — little route overlap does not a good merger make).


  1. I still remember the 2 -3 yrs of horrendous mess of merging when UA acquired PA Pacific division. Feb 11, 1986. UA called it the PAC DAY. I hate to see it again in my career which had span 31 yrs from TWA TO PAN AM to UA. Some of the xPA people that were absorbed into UA ( pacific ) and DL ( atlantic ) are singing ” REUNITED……….”