Source says Delta, Northwest deal inching closer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Source says Delta, Northwest deal inching closer

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines are inching closer to a combination that would create the nation's largest carrier, and if a deal is reached it could be announced next week. That's according to a person briefed on the discussions.

The source says Delta's board of directors is expected to meet over the next several days.       The person -- who was not authorized to talk as the negotiations entered a sensitive stage and asked not to be named -- says one point of contention has been what Northwest Chief Executive Doug Steenland's role would be at the combined company.

Delta has a growing presence across the Atlantic and a strong hub in Atlanta, home to the world's busiest airport. Northwest has strong routes across the Pacific and its main hub is in Minneapolis.

The source says it isn't clear if other issues such as the combined company's name, its headquarters location and labor issues are fully resolved, but management structure with few exceptions are.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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