ATLANTA, Sept. 22, 2008 – Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA) have been informed the plans the airlines submitted for interim operations and a Single Operating Certificate transition have been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The plan outlines the methodology, processes, tools and timing to maintain the safety of the day-to-day operations and to achieve a Single Operating Certificate over the next 15 to 18 months. In the FAA’s letter to the two companies, they expressed appreciation for “the quality and expertise” of the submitted documentation.
“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to bring together our two airlines,” said John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president – Maintenance Operations and co-chair of the integration team tasked with achieving a Single Operating Certificate. “The superb quality of work that Delta and Northwest people deliver every day is the foundation for this intricate process and we attribute our progress so far directly to their dedication to operational excellence.”
“Acceptance of our plan lays the groundwork for a smooth transition of our operations,” said Ken Hylander, Northwest’s senior vice president of Safety, Engineering & Chief Safety Officer, and co-chair of the Single Operating Certificate integration team. “Our ultimate goal is to implement a seamless transition for our customers and this is a big step towards that end.”
Delta in April announced that it is combining with Northwest in an all-stock transaction to create a premier global airline that will be unmatched in the scope and level of services it offers customers. The new company will be called Delta and will be headquartered in Atlanta. Combined, the company and its regional partners will provide customers access to more than 390 destinations in 67 countries. Together, Delta and Northwest will have more than $35 billion in aggregate annual revenues, operate a mainline fleet of nearly 800 aircraft, employ approximately 75,000 people worldwide, and have one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry. The merger is subject to the approval of Delta and Northwest stockholders at separate stockholder meetings on Sept. 25, 2008, as well as regulatory approvals which are expected by the end of the year.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 290 destinations in 60 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 288 weekly flights to 42 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.