Topic Author
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:08 pm

Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:33 pm

This is something I've thought about for a long time. What if Northwest had bought Delta instead of the other way around? What would the fleet look like? Where would the hubs be? Which (if any) cites would be de-hubbed? Discuss.

Here's some of what I think would happen
-NW would de-hub MEM (like DL) did, as ATL would be much larger and profitable
-CVG would lose a lot of flights like it did, and would be about the size it is, minus a few smaller markets and maybe 1 or 2 cities DL doesn't currently serve
-NW would shrink ATL a little, as they want DTW to be their #1 hub, but keep it large enough to avoid having serious repercussions
-NW would continue to build up their operation in DTW. I would see them having 650+ daily flights today, and would've launched routes like MUC, GRU (both earlier than DL did), BRU, MAD, DUB, LIM, and a seasonal ATH, along with some other domestic routes.
-LAX, and JFK would both be NW hubs, but they would be somewhat smaller than they are today
-NW may not have made the slot swap with US that DL did, but I see them building up a hub operation, just smaller than it is right now.
-BOS and IND would both be NWs focus cities, RDU wouldn't be a focus city (yet)
-Like DL, NW would build up a hub in SEA, and will subsequently shrink their NRT hub. However, NW would keep some routes like PUS and SGN running through NRT instead of moving them to SEA.
-DC-9-30s and 40s would be retired in 2012. A319s and large regional jets would replace them
-DC-9-50s would last a little longer, and would be retired somewhere around 2016
-I doubt NW would make the order DL did for the 739ER. I do think they would order the A321s, and would retire a lot more domestic 752s in favor of the 321s
-NW would eventually add on to their 787-8 order (and maybe some 787-9s as well). Many of those will directly replace DLs old 763s.
-Depending how how well NWs Central America ops were, I could see NW acquiring more 737-700s to add more cities/frequencies to Central America and Northern South America (like GYE/CLO/MDE)
-NWs 744s would still be in service right now, but they would eventually be replaced by A350-900s, which NW would still order
-NW would make the move DL made for the FL/WN 712s. It only seems logical if they had 100+ DC-9s in their fleet at one point and still had aging DC-9-50s they would want to replace
-The MD-80s would be replaced in a similar fashion that DL is replacing them, including the A321s, A319s (NW would acquire more, possibly used), and the A320NEO, which NW would order instead of the CS100.
User avatar
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 pm

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:15 pm

-Maybe a small order of B748s (hopefully) just to keep the iconic NW 747 flying.
"If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline"-Richard Branson
User avatar
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:00 am

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:10 am

Interestingly DL is run by Edward Bastian, who came from NW. So in a way, DL is being run by NW. Your NW network dominant theory is interesting though. I think there fleet would have ended up similar to today, but would probably be shifted more Airbus than the true mix. I don't think the structure and size between ATL and DTW in reality and in this theory would be that much different though. Not all decisions, and probably almost none, are based on egos and sentimentality, and I think regardless of the "heritage" of the dominant network planners, their end structure for the NW network would have been similar to today's DL.
The NW name, and corresponding lack of the DL brand, could have hurt them in the South though, possibly requiring some ATL shrinkage.

Look at these pictures for NW:
"Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom"
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:27 pm

N292UX wrote:
-Like DL, NW would build up a hub in SEA, and will subsequently shrink their NRT hub.

I was thinking that if NW merged with CO instead then we'd have a NW/CO SEA hub instead. The 787 was always seen as important part of NW's future before the merger. It would have been ideal for SEA-Asia.
User avatar
Posts: 21127
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:35 pm

It would look exactly like now except the tails would be red and not blue and HQ would be in Eagen, MN, rather than Atlanta, GA. A few details would be different, but the market would force the US3 into the same basic state they are now. If, say, PA's brand had survived instead of UA's (UA had gone out of business and PA had bought their fleet and routes), PA's network today would probably look very much like UA's does and spotters would drone on about how glamorous it was back in the days of UA.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
User avatar
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:59 am

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:47 pm

I think we'd see a lot more Airbus narrowbodies, particularly NEO's on property. I agree the 787 was important to NW, I could see 788s for long thin routes, and 789s for more premium routes. I would have loved to see the red tail live on.

Posts: 10605
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

Re: Hypothetical: What if the DL-NW Merger was reversed?

Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:54 am

Let's be real, outside of the paint on the planes, it would have turned out the same.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos