I was reading the Washington Post today, and came across an article about America West, and how the loan from the government is working well for it, now that all their furloughed employees are being offered jobs, the expansion of service (RDU is specifically mentioned) and how employee morale is much higher. At the end of the article, it mentions the upcoming pilot labour talks, as well as partners. America West says that "It is seeking a partner to replace Continental and also needs a major international partner to supplement its much smaller alliances with Northwest Airlines and British Airways".
The above line has me wondering who will AmWest's next partner will be. We can take Continental off the line, leaving UA, AA, DL, NW, and US. However, given UA's strength on the West Coast and American having a decent sized operation out there, I would doubt it would be either one of those two. US Airways is most likely going to link up with United, giving them the Southwesterly access. This leaves Delta and Northwest, with their international partners from SkyTeam (AF, Aeromexico, et al) and KLM, respectively. I know that Northwest already has a minor agreement (see above) with AmWest, but will the government let it go ahead with major nation-wide code-sharing deals with Continental and AmWest? Delta would have no such restriction in place. Also, Delta has the superior international network due to SkyTeam (yes, I know NW/KL kill SkyTeam in Asia, but they have hardly any representation in Latin America). I also would see no major obstacles leading to AmWest joining SkyTeam, as the only overlap on the routes that I can see are CMH-MCO, SLC-PHX, SLC-LAS, LAS-LAX, SAN-PHX, ATL-PHX, and ATL-LAS. For these reasons (I am a little biased), who do you think AmWest will team up with?