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Topic: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: aa1818
Posted 2011-11-02 05:48:44 and read 13205 times.

I am sort of thinking out loud here, and I am sure this has been discusses before, but I figured that things are slightly different now.

UA/ CO are number 1 in the US.
Southwest is very large and growing; having just acquired AirTran.
AA is rumored to be on the brink of bankruptcy.

The one market where an AA/ DL combination could have too much overlap would be in New York. But slot divestment could help them get over that hurdle. Either way, with CO/UA being so dominant at EWR, and the competition from International Airlines as well as JetBlue at JFK, it may not be such an issue for AA/DL.

DL's hubs- JFK, ATL, CVG, DTW, MEM, SLC and AA's hubs- MIA, JFK, LAX, DFW, ORD could make for an excellent combination.

I know AA's Labor issues and costs etc will play a big hindering role...however, I would envisage the following scenario.

AA enters Ch.11, slashes labor costs, cuts unprofitable routes, cuts its fleet, and upon re-emergence from Ch.11, DL snaps them up (perhaps even when they are still in Ch.11).

Is it possible? Would DL be interested in beefing up LAX, greater access at JFK, a hub in MIA, and a true Southern hub in DFW (where DL was once strong) for the right price?!.

Just thinking out loud, so please don't be too harsh!

AA1818

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: teme82
Posted 2011-11-02 05:55:58 and read 13205 times.

I bet that the merger between AA and DL would not be possible at all. The regulators does not want this type of merger.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: ORDBOSEWR
Posted 2011-11-02 05:56:04 and read 13192 times.

I would say the answer will be played out with the AT&T and T-Mobile deal that is working through the process now. If AT&T is able to complete that deal then any deal should be possible, but it will take a significant amount of political capital to get it done.
I have never seen that desire from the airlines to make that happen. Look at UA & US that died from a similar fate.

It is really hard to fight for a deal in the airlines because of the employee issues that would be in limbo while the deal is being closed. It is hard enough when you have no opposition (see: US and AW) to get that part done.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: lows
Posted 2011-11-02 06:07:37 and read 13135 times.

Quoting aa1818 (Thread starter):
ORD

I can't imagine them keeping ORD, DTW and MSP. One of those would have to go.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: wingnutmn
Posted 2011-11-02 06:08:08 and read 13135 times.

I bet AA pilots would just love to be stapled to the bottom of the list. I hope DL pilots follow the AA pilots formula that was used in the TWA merger. But it would never happen, the merger and the screw job. AA is destined for a B6 merger or a liquidation.

Wingnut

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: jetlanta
Posted 2011-11-02 06:09:00 and read 13122 times.

From virtually every angle, such a combination would have huge difficulties...regulatory, labor, and technology come to mind immediately. However the network overlap is actually quite minimal, and it isn't illegal to be big, so I suspect it could pass regulatory muster. The caveat is that I'm sure there would have to be a significant divestiture of slots at LGA, and perhaps JFK.

But there is no doubt that the network combination would be extremely attractive. The combined carrier's position at NYC, LAX, ATL, DFW, MIA, DTW, and MSP would be a very strong part of any global network. It could certainly lead to some degree of consolidation between SkyTeam and oneworld, as well.

ORD, CVG and MEM would be toast as hubs, however. AA's position at ORD has been a source of angst for a long time now. DTW and MSP are dramatically better for DL than ORD is for AA.

Of course, from every angle other than network, this deal would be almost insane to contemplate now. But you are right, in a post-Chapter 11 environment, AA would likely be a bit smaller and certainly more attractive. The trend towards consolidation of legacy capacity isn't over yet. A combination of this size perhaps seems "too big", but a few years back no one would have thought that DL/NW or UA/CO would have been able to merge either. The industry is changing quickly and U.S. carriers need to be competitive abroad. To do that, stability is required at home. Consolidation is a major force of stability, as we've seen with the successful mergers of the past few years.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Byrdluvs747
Posted 2011-11-02 06:15:35 and read 13060 times.

Will not happen. No one in govt is in the mood for creating a duopoly in air travel.

I personally would be disgusted to have AA in Skyteam. Sickening!

Quoting aa1818 (Thread starter):
AA enters Ch.11, slashes labor costs, cuts unprofitable routes, cuts its fleet, and upon re-emergence from Ch.11, DL snaps them up (perhaps even when they are still in Ch.11).

DL won't be "snapping up" any AA stock. AA will have plenty of protectors(investors) to buy equity in the airline. Citi, TPG, and IAG are the obvious candidates.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: STT757
Posted 2011-11-02 06:31:46 and read 12924 times.

There's way more of a chance that US acquires AA, but even that scenario I give less than 50/50 odds.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: lows
Posted 2011-11-02 06:43:12 and read 12840 times.

Theoretically, that would send Doug Parker running to UA for another go at a merger.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2011-11-02 06:45:02 and read 12826 times.

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 5):
and it isn't illegal to be big,

What's wrong with AT&T and T Mobile, then? There's nothing anticompetitive there but the size.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: kanebear
Posted 2011-11-02 06:54:57 and read 12753 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):
What's wrong with AT&T and T Mobile, then? There's nothing anticompetitive there but the size.

No way in heck such a merger would get past the DOJ. Pre-DL/NW? Perhaps. IMO AA/US is about all that'd work at this point. All the other dance partners have been taken.

Off topic : An AT&T and T-mobile merger is anticompetitive as it eliminates a competitor, reduces consumer choice, and reduces pricing pressure on AT&T. Verizon and Sprint wouldn't be allowed to merge either. A merger that MIGHT work? T-mobile and Sprint.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: hiflyer
Posted 2011-11-02 07:01:38 and read 12718 times.

A merger between AA and DL is quite doubtful...however a Chapt 11 by AA with DL becoming debtor in possession could happen which then DL could pull the funding and dissolve AA for parts thereby not having to take the employees. (DL did the same with PanAm exactly 20 years ago).

However...I suspect the USAir/JetBlue/AA trio may have more traction...perhaps one of them would do the DL/PA trick to AA. Alaska used to be in these combo scenarios but hear less and less about them lately...same with Hawaiian.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: enilria
Posted 2011-11-02 07:23:41 and read 12588 times.

Quoting teme82 (Reply 1):
I bet that the merger between AA and DL would not be possible at all. The regulators does not want this type of merger.

There have been even crazier mergers considered and privately evaluated that AA/DL.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 2):

I would say the answer will be played out with the AT&T and T-Mobile deal that is working through the process now.

I disagree. I'm no fan of mergers, but the DOT/DOJ treats airlines differently. I think they would approve anything given that the proposed divestiture list is followed.

Quoting lows (Reply 3):
I can't imagine them keeping ORD, DTW and MSP. One of those would have to go.

Here is my guess of how this gets done.

1) AA files Ch11
2) AA shrinks ORD saying it can't compete with UA which is largely true
3) AA proposes merger and makes the case that it isn't standalone viable which would also be true
4) AA would be smaller than DL and that would mean that DL's union contracts would likely survive.
5) DOT/DOJ would ask them to surrender ORD to an LCC (B6 or VX or NK).
6) DOT/DOJ would take gates from them at LAX and JFK
7) OW would ally with US and B6 which might setup a merger of the two.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: 727LOVER
Posted 2011-11-02 07:23:56 and read 12588 times.

So who would be buying, whos management, whos name kept?

The OP asked could a AA/DL merger EVER be approved, we're not neccesarily talking about RIGHT now. This could be 10 years from now.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: TOMMY767
Posted 2011-11-02 07:33:25 and read 12491 times.

Quoting hiflyer (Reply 11):
A merger between AA and DL is quite doubtful...however a Chapt 11 by AA with DL becoming debtor in possession could happen which then DL could pull the funding and dissolve AA for parts thereby not having to take the employees. (DL did the same with PanAm exactly 20 years ago).

But I feel like DL took a ton of ex-Pan Am employees with them, no?

Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):
There's way more of a chance that US acquires AA, but even that scenario I give less than 50/50 odds.

Agreed and/or merger with B6. I think the recent Airbus deal has a lot to do with either a US or B6 tie up somewhere down the road.

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 5):
ORD, CVG and MEM would be toast as hubs, however. AA's position at ORD has been a source of angst for a long time now. DTW and MSP are dramatically better for DL than ORD is for AA.

Didn't AA and NW try to merge in the early/mid 1990s in part because AA wanted a major hub as MSP? If they ever did merge, ORD would either be extremely downsized and/or toast. If this ever happened, I would expect Spirit to develop a small hub at ORD.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-02 07:51:46 and read 12408 times.

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
5) DOT/DOJ would ask them to surrender ORD to an LCC (B6 or VX or NK).

What about WN? I know WN is entrenched at MDW, and is somewhat identified with MDW just like HOU and DAL, but might this circumstance be worth switching to ORD? I say this from the anecdotal perspective that many seem to prefer ORD, and much more room to expand if/when needed.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: mayor
Posted 2011-11-02 07:59:28 and read 12344 times.

Quoting hiflyer (Reply 11):
A merger between AA and DL is quite doubtful...however a Chapt 11 by AA with DL becoming debtor in possession could happen which then DL could pull the funding and dissolve AA for parts thereby not having to take the employees. (DL did the same with PanAm exactly 20 years ago).
Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 14):

But I feel like DL took a ton of ex-Pan Am employees with them, no?

   Exactly.......DL did take quite a few PA employees with them in that acquisition. How could they NOT? A dramatically expanded system as they ended up with, who was going to work those stations and flights if they didn't have those PA employees, too.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-11-02 08:09:14 and read 12289 times.

Maybe AS would be interested in buying out AA.  

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: TSS
Posted 2011-11-02 08:53:17 and read 12072 times.

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 13):
So who would be buying, whos management, whos name kept?

In the context of this thread, a prospective AA/DL merger, the answer to all three questions is Delta. However, a much more likely candidate for a buyout/merger situation with AA is US, but I won't officially start worrying about that possibility until US leaves the Star Alliance and joins OneWorld.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: ItalianFlyer
Posted 2011-11-02 09:35:32 and read 11837 times.

Barring a complete collapse of the Northern Hemisphere economies (which is not totally out of the question), I see the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 limitations on foreign ownership/investment being amended before allowing uber-mega mergers like DL/AA, AA/UA or UA/DL or WN and everybody.

Just my .2

[Edited 2011-11-02 09:52:07]

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: RamblinMan
Posted 2011-11-02 09:55:19 and read 11725 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 15):
What about WN?

Seriously? You think they'd move their largest hub from an airport they practically own to an airport which is eternally congested and which is seeing increased growth by NK almost every quarter?

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 14):
If this ever happened, I would expect Spirit to develop a small hub at ORD.

NK is doing that anyway, whether this scenario comes to pass or not.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: enilria
Posted 2011-11-02 10:19:13 and read 11594 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 15):
What about WN? I know WN is entrenched at MDW

You answered your own question. I don't see the point of being big at both airports. Maybe they'd want to operate some token flights someday, but they "own" MDW. That's their Chicago operation. Why beat their head up against the wall with UA in such a dominant post-merger position?

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 20):
Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 14):
If this ever happened, I would expect Spirit to develop a small hub at ORD.

NK is doing that anyway, whether this scenario comes to pass or not.

Well, they already built one. Look at their route map.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-02 10:39:25 and read 11462 times.

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 20):
Seriously? You think they'd move their largest hub from an airport they practically own to an airport which is eternally congested and which is seeing increased growth by NK almost every quarter?

You're right ORD is congested, but would presumably offer better and larger facilities (if they took over T3), longer runways to accomodate potential larger fleet types and/or intercontinental service down the road (emphasis on down the road, not imminent of course), and the perception of ORD as a preferred airport. That last is totally anecdotal, but I get the impression that people, particularly the business crowd, prefer ORD (DL swapping the LGA-CHI shuttle from MDW to ORD?) overall. Obviously congestion and NK (not to mention UA definitely not laying down before WN at ORD of all places) are barriers, but I asked out of curiosity if that opportunity were to arise.

Quoting enilria (Reply 21):
You answered your own question. I don't see the point of being big at both airports. Maybe they'd want to operate some token flights someday, but they "own" MDW. That's their Chicago operation. Why beat their head up against the wall with UA in such a dominant post-merger position?

My assumption was moving from MDW to ORD, given the rationale above (not saying it's true, just my view of possible factors that could play). Certainly opening ORD as a second CHI airport with MDW would probably be less than ideal.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: 7673mech
Posted 2011-11-02 10:47:30 and read 11394 times.

I think the regulators would approve it with provisions (sell this, give up these slots - etc.)
Getting the labor unions on board at AA would be near to impossible.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2011-11-02 10:50:18 and read 11339 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 22):
That last is totally anecdotal, but I get the impression that people, particularly the business crowd, prefer ORD (DL swapping the LGA-CHI shuttle from MDW to ORD?) overall.

I don't know why any business traveler in their right mind who is going downtown would prefer ORD.

The key, though, is "going downtown." Much of the business in the suburbs is closer to ORD.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-02 11:17:55 and read 11363 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 24):
I don't know why any business traveler in their right mind who is going downtown would prefer ORD.

The key, though, is "going downtown." Much of the business in the suburbs is closer to ORD.

Geographically yes, but I recall seeing on here that DL moved their shuttle at least partly because the biz pax preffered using ORD. That doesn't address where in the area they were going, and did not have any verifiable facts behind it, but I remember seeing that mentioned What is the real travel time difference from MDW and ORD to downtown? I'd be interested to know how the travel time compares between the two.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: aa1818
Posted 2011-11-02 11:27:19 and read 11240 times.

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 23):

I think the regulators would approve it with provisions (sell this, give up these slots - etc.)
Getting the labor unions on board at AA would be near to impossible.

I agree with you on the labor unions, though, if AA goes through Ch.11 and labor gets the short end of the stick, perhaps then they would view an amalgamation with DL as not being so bad if the DL offer for labor is more attractive than post-AA stand-alone? Just thinking aloud.

AA1818

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2011-11-02 11:29:58 and read 11401 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 25):
Geographically yes, but I recall seeing on here that DL moved their shuttle at least partly because the biz pax preffered using ORD.

Convenient, then, that they moved the shuttle after WN opened MDWLGA.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 25):
What is the real travel time difference from MDW and ORD to downtown?

Probably 20 minutes in "average" traffic and about the same on the El.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: klkla
Posted 2011-11-02 11:39:09 and read 11251 times.

I don't think this could ever happen. The only possible scenario would be AA filing Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 11 and DL picking up some of it's assets with other airlines also taking bits and pieces. I'm sure DL would love to buy MIA and LAX hub. US could take JFK and DFW. ORD could be closed and divided among LCCs.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: 747400sp
Posted 2011-11-02 11:44:31 and read 11225 times.

Why AA and US, can not merge, DL and UA are too big already, an AA/US merger, seems like a better option.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-02 11:51:13 and read 11097 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
Convenient, then, that they moved the shuttle after WN opened MDWLGA.

So which is worse, competing against UA and AA ORD-LGA, or WN on MDW-LGA? Pick your poison on that one, I don't see either as a great option for DL in Chicago, unless they own the NYC-originating traffic.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: HPRamper
Posted 2011-11-02 12:12:42 and read 10883 times.

AA, US, B6, maybe F9 are probably the only airlines in play in terms of merger right now. The new DL and UA are just too big and their absorbing another airline would likely not be approved by the DOJ.

I sort of like the idea of B6+F9.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: ripcordd
Posted 2011-11-02 13:33:05 and read 9961 times.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):

Wingnutmn there was a big big differnce when AA put TWA pilots and employees at the bottom TWA WAS BOUGHT yes BOUGHT by AA not merged not combined but Bought out. So AA took care of their family first then the TWA friends were taken care of.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2011-11-02 13:41:46 and read 9897 times.

IMO, I see many scenarios more likely than that:

1. AA+B6 merger
2. DL+AS merger
3. US+AA merger
4. AA getting divested between everyone
5. finally, AA+DL

Keep in mind, I think there is a greater chance that Rush Limbaugh would vote for Obama than #1, the other ones being even less likely...

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2011-11-02 13:44:13 and read 9827 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 25):
Geographically yes, but I recall seeing on here that DL moved their shuttle at least partly because the biz pax preffered using ORD. That doesn't address where in the area they were going, and did not have any verifiable facts behind it, but I remember seeing that mentioned What is the real travel time difference from MDW and ORD to downtown? I'd be interested to know how the travel time compares between the two.

Delta also has a lounge at T2 at ORD. It's convenient for DL to consolidate its premium-heavy capacity at one airport where the facilities are in place. Despite its smaller presence compared to OW and *A, SkyTeam does indeed have a decent loyalty following in Chicago.

As far as the ORD vs. MDW comparison goes, the truth is that MDW is indeed closer to the city (and faster to get to via the L) but as someone mentioned above, business traffic into Chicago does not always go into the Loop. Much of it actually goes out into the surrounding suburbs or areas near O'Hare.

In addition, looking at the demographics of Chicago-originating traffic, O'Hare is closer to a lot of the wealther/more affluent suburbs of Chicago which statistically support larger volumes of frequent travelers. Midway, on the other hand, is located in more blue-collar/working class neighborhoods where people are less likely to travel as frequently, so from a convenience standpoint, O'Hare is the more popular/preferred option.

However, MDW is still a great airport and fills its niche perfectly for what the city needs. It is also interesting that MDW has been able to support nonstop flights to Mexico over the years (previously on ATA, now on Volaris) thanks to the large Hispanic population in the surrounding communities.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: ordjoe
Posted 2011-11-02 14:48:18 and read 9201 times.

Oh hell no I want my AAdvantage miles which are worth something and international first, not the worthless sky peso.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2011-11-02 18:06:50 and read 7638 times.

Interesting scenrio, but I dont see it happening, unless ORD gets closed. ORD would overlap MSP and DTW. ORD would bring a huge Chicago market to the table but I think DL would rather be top dog in MSP and DTW than have to share ORD with UA and SWA. If you take ORD out of the pic the route map would align pretty well. DL obviously would rule the south with mega hubs at DFW and ATL not to mention MIA. I stil think though that somehow AA & US will end up together.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-02 20:07:56 and read 6801 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 34):

Thanks for the detailed response. That all makes sense, and I forgot about DL's lounge in T2 - the first time I walked by the SkyClub on way to catch my UA Express Jungle Jet in F, I did a double take as I forgot DL had an ORD club. But DL clearly still does decent business out of ORD. I would be curious to know how AA, DL, and UA do profit-wise on ORD-LGA, given DL is all E-Jets, and UA and AA are at least mostly mainline from what I recall. All I knew for sure before your comments was that some number of biz pax do go to places other than the Loop, and that MDW being on the South Side is in a stereotypically less affluent area with a lower proportion of frequent fliers.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: AA767LOVER
Posted 2011-11-02 21:00:28 and read 6465 times.

WN could make the next move and buy Frontier and solidify DEN as a major fortress hub. Think so?

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: HPRamper
Posted 2011-11-02 21:04:45 and read 6457 times.

Quoting AA767LOVER (Reply 38):
WN could make the next move and buy Frontier and solidify DEN as a major fortress hub. Think so?

Not with Frontier's fleet. WN has zip experience with Airbus. At least FL flew a Boeing product, and WN isn't even satisfied with that. Too much of a headache.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: GUYAIR707
Posted 2011-11-02 21:19:17 and read 6384 times.

Imagine the size of that airline.

GUYAIR707

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: point2point
Posted 2011-11-02 21:51:21 and read 6191 times.

At this point, I don't think that the government would be radically opposed to an AA/DL merger, given some divestitures in key markets.

On the other hand, overall an AA/DL merger would be a logistical nightmare, with so many facets involved. I think that only an AA in Chapter 11 could make some of the many facets involved a lot less though, and per the opening post, could more than likely be a possible way if (IF IF IF IF IF) AA and DL were to ever merge.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: type-rated
Posted 2011-11-03 00:35:25 and read 5649 times.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
I hope DL pilots follow the AA pilots formula that was used in the TWA merger.

Always watch who you step on while on the way up, you may need their help on the way back down.....

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: BOACCunard
Posted 2011-11-03 00:48:00 and read 5626 times.

I absolutely think it could be approved, with certain divestitures. I think all of AA's LGA slots would have to go, otherwise the combined airline would own the whole airport. Presumably JFK would see some slot divestiture as well but not on the same scale.

Elsewhere, what would the regulatory issues be, really? AA and DL don't compete directly on too many routes that don't touch NYC. How many routes are served by both AA and DL, but no one else? Pretty much just routes between their hubs, and then not even all of those.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: rising
Posted 2011-11-03 03:29:47 and read 5282 times.

Quoting kanebear (Reply 10):
No way in heck such a merger would get past the DOJ.

Commercial Aviation in the United States has been deregulated since 1978. As has been said on this website and many others for the past decade, the DOJ Antitrust Division does NOT evaluate mergers for airlines based on the industry as a whole, but on the basis of city-pairs. If AA and DL decided they wanted to merge and they worked out an agreement on some divestitures, it could certainly be feasible that it would be approved, and if it wasn't the airlines could sue the DOJ.

The question of weather it would be successful from a business standpoint is another matter entirely.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2011-11-03 05:33:05 and read 4870 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 44):
it could certainly be feasible that it would be approved, and if it wasn't the airlines could sue the DOJ.

Under what law could they sue DOJ?

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: TOMMY767
Posted 2011-11-03 07:38:21 and read 4685 times.

I wonder in terms of fleet planning, what types would be dumped first? My guess is the oldest AA M82s and oldest 757s from DL. A combined entity (while amazing in terms of network) would also be set as far as a factory fresh fleet goes over the coming years. AA would get the 319, 321, and 787 and DL would get the 739. In time, the M82s, M83s, M88s, and older 757s and A320s would be replaced.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: airlinespotter
Posted 2011-11-03 10:14:07 and read 4507 times.

When it's all said and done, I still believe AA and US will merge. My 2cents.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: enilria
Posted 2011-11-03 10:50:17 and read 4452 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 22):
My assumption was moving from MDW to ORD

That will not happen. You never trade away a dominant position to be 2nd banana down the road. They'd be crazy to do such a thing.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 31):
I sort of like the idea of B6+F9.

Too bad B6 doesn't. It won't happen unless B6 decides they want the fleet which is unlikely given that neither are now big fans of the E190 and old Airbuses are not so valuable.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
1. AA+B6 merger

I tend to think this happens somehow, but it might be a very long time before AA is in good enough shape to do it.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
2. DL+AS merger

This one is inevitable, but I think for it to work AS has to be split into two pieces with the ANC hub remaining in the hands of someone else, but code sharing with DL.

Quoting airlinespotter (Reply 47):
When it's all said and done, I still believe AA and US will merge. My 2cents.

Here's a crazy thought. What about NK and US? NK is the buyer. There are all sorts of ties between NK and US. Indigo Partners is led by HP's former CEO and they are NK's 2nd largest shareholder and very active in their management. Also, the top two people at NK are former US execs. NK then turns US into a true ULCC.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2011-11-03 11:11:56 and read 4395 times.

Quoting enilria (Reply 48):
That will not happen. You never trade away a dominant position to be 2nd banana down the road. They'd be crazy to do such a thing.

That may be, but that's why I asked, if it was at all possible. I didn't say it was likely, I merely laid out some points that would make such a move interesting from a strategic perspective.

Quoting enilria (Reply 48):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
2. DL+AS merger

This one is inevitable, but I think for it to work AS has to be split into two pieces with the ANC hub remaining in the hands of someone else, but code sharing with DL.

Why would they necessarily have to carve up AS? Couldn't they just enact an agreement to maintain service to certain AK markets and to/from ANC to various points beyond?

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2011-11-03 11:12:25 and read 4400 times.

Quoting enilria (Reply 48):
Here's a crazy thought. What about NK and US? NK is the buyer.

I don't see the point. They'd have no choice but to give away their dominant positions in PHL, DCA and CLT. There's only a limited amount of demand for ULCCs, and NK will never have even half of the market share in any large market. NK needs to grow by getting bigger in more places, not by getting huge in any single place.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2011-11-03 18:36:00 and read 4124 times.

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 32):
Wingnutmn there was a big big differnce when AA put TWA pilots and employees at the bottom TWA WAS BOUGHT yes BOUGHT by AA not merged not combined but Bought out. So AA took care of their family first then the TWA friends were taken care of

It seems that Delta bought out NWA but didn't staple NWA employees to the bottom. Guess they wanted to take care of BOTH families equally.

If DL and AA combined, would we have to go through that union debacle all over again? THAT might be the reason DL will NOT acquire AA, the employee groups would be too top heavy with those leaning toward unionization (All of the AA folk and the PMNW crowd who don't like the DL koolaid).

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: Flighty
Posted 2011-11-03 19:04:58 and read 4010 times.

DL has nothing to gain from AA and it would be totally illegal for them to even discuss a merger, besides. JMO.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: point2point
Posted 2011-11-03 19:51:06 and read 3918 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 52):
DL has nothing to gain from AA and it would be totally illegal for them to even discuss a merger, besides.

Illegal? Why?

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2011-11-03 20:53:46 and read 3802 times.

I think the biggest question is if DL wants to inherit AA's troubles and if they could make AA's network profitable under DL. Maybe they can, but if a AA/DL merger were to happen, I see it in the future when AA isn't bleeding cash left and right

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: mayor
Posted 2011-11-03 21:01:35 and read 3788 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 51):

If DL and AA combined, would we have to go through that union debacle all over again? THAT might be the reason DL will NOT acquire AA, the employee groups would be too top heavy with those leaning toward unionization (All of the AA folk and the PMNW crowd who don't like the DL koolaid).

Considering what is happening with representation, this time, I wonder if DL would even want to go thru it, again. Seems like more trouble than it's worth.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: staralliance85
Posted 2011-11-04 13:41:45 and read 3494 times.

A DL/AA merger will Never get approved by the DOJ/Eric Holder under the Obama Administration. He will never let such a merger happen. If a Republican gets in it might be a different story. But it is a very interesting scenario.


1.If a DL/AA merger ever gets approved than there will only be like 4 choices of airlines Delta, United, Southwest and B6/VX.

- Such news would probably give United's CEO Jeff Smisek a heart attack. DL/AA would comfortably outnumber UA in the NYC area and LAX, which UA has the upper hand right now. Smisek would immediately takeover US to eliminate them as competition.

- DL/AA would dominate traffic to South America by having many flights from ATL,MIA and DFW. UAL's S America traffic would be a drop in the bucket compared to DL/AA's traffic. Keep in mind, TAM is probably leaving the *A so UA has nobody to turn to.


- DL/AA would have by far the most flight to London Heathrow. If they keep British Airways as a partner it would almost be a monopoly.

- Southwest would takeover Frontier and B6 would probably merge with Virgin America.

- Air fares would be exorbitant.

- If such a scenario was going to happen Skyteam and Oneworld should merge into one to compete with *A. This makes sense because *A is becoming very powerful.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2011-11-04 13:53:17 and read 3459 times.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 56):
Such news would probably give United's CEO Jeff Smisek a heart attack.

Granted the heart attack DL inherits (AA) doesn't kill DL first...

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 56):
Smisek would immediately takeover US to eliminate them as competition.

But haven't we seen multiple, failed US/UA mergers? This time, it would be even less likely as there would be even fewer large players

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 56):
If such a scenario was going to happen Skyteam and Oneworld should merge into one to compete with *A. This makes sense because *A is becoming very powerful.

So the entirety of oneworld and Skyteam would merge just because 2 American carriers merged? America is a large market, but not the only market. Maybe there is a minuscule, tiny chance of these 2 alliances merging to compete with Star, but it wouldn't be simply because "the American members merged."

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: ripcordd
Posted 2011-11-04 13:54:20 and read 3455 times.

I dont see anyone merging with AA....It would be DL buyout not a merger

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: staralliance85
Posted 2011-11-04 14:51:27 and read 3390 times.

Oneworld without American would leave a huge hole in their portfolio! If DL takes over AA than it would be by far the largest airline in the world and the alliances would have to merge. Oneworld and Skyteam have a lot to benefit from one another. They would almost have a complete dominance in South America. Star Alliance/ LH group and SAS would be weak in Europe compared to BA, IB,MA ,AF, KL, AZ and OK. The Middle East would have a pretty good presence by having RJ, ME and SV. Oneworld/Skyteam would have the edge over Star Alliance in Asia (considered a Star Alliance stronghold right now).

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 57):

So the entirety of oneworld and Skyteam would merge just because 2 American carriers merged? America is a large market, but not the only market. Maybe there is a minuscule, tiny chance of these 2 alliances merging to compete with Star, but it wouldn't be simply because "the American members merged.


True. If AA goes into bankruptcy it would be a great opportunity for DL.

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 58):

I dont see anyone merging with AA....It would be DL buyout not a merger

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: polot
Posted 2011-11-04 15:09:55 and read 3359 times.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 57):
So the entirety of oneworld and Skyteam would merge just because 2 American carriers merged? America is a large market, but not the only market. Maybe there is a minuscule, tiny chance of these 2 alliances merging to compete with Star, but it wouldn't be simply because "the American members merged."

True, but AA and DL are the only American carriers that Oneworld and Skyteam respectively have (in fact AA is Oneworld's only North American carrier), and are both are core members in their alliance. Yes, the US isn't the end all be all, but Oneworld, would be severely weakened if they lose AA.

And US isn't big enough to fill AA shoes before someone goes down that train of thought.

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2011-11-04 16:04:02 and read 3248 times.

Quoting polot (Reply 60):
True, but AA and DL are the only American carriers that Oneworld and Skyteam respectively have (in fact AA is Oneworld's only North American carrier), and are both are core members in their alliance. Yes, the US isn't the end all be all, but Oneworld, would be severely weakened if they lose AA.

And US isn't big enough to fill AA shoes before someone goes down that train of thought.

I agree on all points, but I still don't think this would cause oneworld and Skyteam to merge. Who says Skyteam would want oneworld? Now something I can see is if this unlikely scenario happened (AA+DL merging), many oneworld members would leave for Skyteam or Star, causing the destruction of oneworld. More than likely, oneworld would get someone, anyone, even if they have to bribe an American carrier.

(now I am wondering why Southwest hardly codeshares at all but am afraid to start a new topic because I have a feeling it's been discussed to death!    )

Topic: RE: Could An AA/ DL Merger Ever Be Approved?
Username: delta2ual
Posted 2011-11-06 07:07:40 and read 2768 times.

I just don't know anymore. Ten years ago I would have said absolutely not. But, we live in such a global economy now. The Middle East carriers are a real threat to many airlines. The US may relax foreign ownership laws, which would allow cross border mergers. AA may indeed go through BK, emerging as a much leaner competitor. JFK would be an issue in a AA/DL merger, but look at the dominance in EWR with UA/CO.
I'm not saying any of this will happen, but going forward nothing surprises me. That would leave the US with 3 major international airlines: DL/AA, UA/CO, and US (which does have a decent international operation). Domestically, we would have DL/AA,UA/CO,US,B6,Frontier,WN,Spirit,AS, VX, and Allegiant. Still many domestic competitors. Who knows what will happen?


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