Monday, January 15, 2007

Delta pilots oppose US Airways takeover

Just before the weekend, pilots at Delta Airlines reiterated their opposition to a takeover of their airline by US Airways. The Delta pilots have been opposed to the takeover from the outset, and since the pilots' union has a place on Delta's official committee of unsecured creditors, they may indeed have some clout in making sure that the US Airways bid fails.

A Reuters article on says:
The bid has been opposed by most Delta employees. The pilots' unions at America West and US Airways -- the two airlines that merged to form US Airways Group -- have also expressed reservations. But earlier this week the chief of the America West pilots' union said he was "neutral" to the bid and focused on protecting the interests of its members.

The Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association said the new offer did not address issues it had raised earlier, including antitrust concerns, route overlaps, job losses and provisions of its contract with Delta.

It also said the increased offer would raise the debt load of the combined company by USD$1 billion.

"Delta pilots will not change any provision of our contract in order to facilitate the hostile takeover of our company," Lee Moak, chairman of the union's master executive council, wrote in a memo to pilots.

"As such, the MEC remains totally committed and one hundred percent focused on one thing -- the death of the US Airways' merger attempt," he added.
US Airways has said that any job cuts under its plan would be carried out through voluntary leaves of absence and attrition.