April 14, 2008
Delta Air Lines Pilots Union Approves Historic Agreement in Support of Proposed Delta-Northwest Merger
Atlanta – The governing body of the Delta Air Lines pilots union, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), convened April 11 and 12 to consider a tentative agreement in support of the proposed merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. On Saturday, April 12, after months of intense analysis and negotiations, the body unanimously approved the agreement in support of the merger as proposed and will soon present the agreement to the Delta pilot membership for ratification. From the inception of merger discussions, the Delta pilots have fully participated in the process that has culminated in this historic announcement.
Delta and Northwest pilots have made significant contributions to their airlines’ restructuring, which allowed the corporations to successfully emerge from bankruptcy, and the union is committed to protecting those pilot investments. With oil stubbornly remaining at over $100 per barrel and severe economic pressures mounting, the industry’s viability is in jeopardy for the second time since the attacks of 9/11. The merged Delta will be a more stable, financially durable and investable airline that will provide benefit to Delta and Northwest employees, , the communities we serve and, importantly, the traveling public.
Delta pilots have remained steadfast in their assertion that a successful merger would only occur with their participation from the onset of merger discussions. On behalf of the union, Captain Lee Moak, chairman of the Delta pilots union, has repeatedly stated “Our goal is to work for a healthy, viable, and profitable airline that provides long-term career growth and security for our pilots.” That goal was the focus of an intense extended merger analysis. “Delta pilots are not opposed to a rational and sensible consolidation scenario. We have consistently stated that the “right” merger opportunity could draw our support and result in a successful merger,” according to Capt. Moak.
The Delta pilots’ union agreement consists of contractual modifications, which are subject to membership ratification. This agreement will facilitate a successful merger and includes contractual improvements and financial returns for the value the pilots’ participation provides to the merger. Capt. Moak stated in a letter to the pilots, “Anger and false hope will never be effective strategies to counter the challenges we face, and change is never easy, but as we have become intimately familiar with over the years, it is one of the few constants in our industry. A key difference this time, however, is that the Delta pilots can choose to be an agent of that change rather than a bystander to it.”
“Your union leadership chose to craft a new and, I believe, far superior solution—one with a substantially brighter outcome for the pilots of the merged corporation than the traditional merger scenario. We have a historic opportunity before us.”
The complete text of Captain Moak’s letter to the pilot membership is available on the Delta pilots’ website, www.deltapilots.org, click “press access.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 61,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 7,000 active DAL pilots. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org and the Delta pilots’ website at www.deltapilots.org.
SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
CONTACT: ALPA, Kelly Regus, 404-763-4925 office