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Old 10-29-2008, 06:28 AM
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Default DCC anyone?

Delta-Northwest merger’s final approval may be near
By KELLY YAMANOUCHI

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines’ merger with Northwest Airlines may get U.S. Department of Justice approval in a matter of days, industry observers say.

Some say the deal could be granted antitrust approval in early November, or even earlier, although that could depend on resolving some issues.

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“There was really nobody out there who put forth any good opposition on this,” said longtime airline consultant Darryl Jenkins.

Michael Boyd, president of Boyd Group International Inc., an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Colo., said he expects the Department of Justice to announce its decision very soon.

“It’s not like they are still studying it,” he said. The merger was easy to evaluate on antitrust grounds, because “there is almost no overlap of routes, so why would you turn it down?”

Once the Nov. 4 election is over, the Bush administration’s antitrust regulators will start to wrap up their work and likely will say, “Let’s get it over with,” Boyd said. “Why leave this in the inbox” for the next administration? he asked.

Delta spokesman Kent Landers said Tuesday he could not comment on timing of the closing. “We remain confident it will close by the end of the year, but no updates,” he said.

Northwest Chief Executive Doug Steenland said last week during an investor conference call that the Eagan, Minn.-based company expects the closing of the merger to occur “soon.”

When Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson was asked during an investor conference call Oct. 15 how confident he was that the Justice Department would sign off on the deal by the end of the year, Anderson said “extremely confident.”

Delta plans to close the deal within days of the approval. Anderson said in a message to employees last week that the Justice Department approval “is really basically the last major hurdle before the deal closes.”

“After the DOJ approves, there’s a bunch of paperwork and legal documents that need to be put in order before we officially close the deal,” Anderson said. “It’s basically tying up any loose ends and that should take a few days.”

There could be some issues to wrap up, including a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by travelers suing to block the merger, who are represented by Joseph Alioto.

Meanwhile, Delta and Northwest pilots remain in an arbitration process to decide how to integrate their seniority lists in the merger. The last in a series of arbitration hearings is scheduled for Nov. 15-17, though the arbitration panel urged the two parties to come to a negotiated agreement before a decision from the panel.

— Staff writer Marilyn Geewax in Washington, D.C., contributed to this article.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:37 AM
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Yesterday the local MSP news was reporting the merger approval could come as early as Friday. That, the recent MEC mailings warning of the medical retirement issues, and the overwhelming quiet leads me to believe DCC is Friday, Monday or somewhere in between.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:02 AM
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So the real question is how many of the senior NWA guys "with their paperwork in" are going to bolt?
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:02 AM
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Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 6:53 AM
Subject: DC hearing info


these are another pilots observations about the sen. list hearings in DC..


All,

I along w/10-20 NWA pilots observed today's arbitration
proceedings. Not a single pilot from DAL was there. Lee
Moak was in the audience & that was it other than their
Merger Committee.

I am going to summarize what happened today--it was
EVENTFUL. Be forgiving of my spelling mistakes, etc.

First, some personal observations: anyone who thinks Dave
Stevens or any pilot or staffer associated w/the Seniority
Arbitration might be trying to sell out the Junior NWA
pilots is just wrong. If you believe that, you need to find
time to attend a session. You will witness 1st hand the
time, effort, preparation, & professionalism of ALL
involved. 3 of our witnesses who testified today were a
747-400 Captain & 2 A330 Captains. They weren't doing this
for themselves. As senior WB Captains, they are pretty
secure. Instead, they were sacrificing their personal time
for the ENTIRE pilot group in general & for the junior
pilots in particular.

The specifics:

1)The day started w/A320 F/O Merger Committee Member Lane
Kranz being cross examined. Not only did Lane hold up well,
but he got under the skin of the DAL lawyer enough that the
lawyer was not only rude to Lane, but to most of the
witnesses today.

2)The second witness was the cross examination of Dr
Campbell, our economist. He literally kicked butt...again.
Not only did he answer everything, but he corrected the DAL
lawyers at times, he did not give an inch & he knew his
stuff. At one point, the DAL lawyer was trying to downplay
the value of our operations in Asia & Dr Campbell reiterated
the price UAL paid for Pan Am's Pacific operation in the
'80s--close to $885M I think, then stated how the rest of
the industry thought UAL got a screaming deal. The DAL
lawyer just had his jaw drop & didn't know how to respond.
The peanut gallery (us pilots) definitely noticed & we
quietly laughed at the exchange.

3)Merger Committee Member Eric Neuman was next & gave a
great summary & presentation of our proposed list. It was
an "improved" Robert's Award. Date of Hire w/restrictions &
protections. He gave the broad brush & of the list & then
details of why it was fair--compared seniorities on planes
from WB Capt, WB F/O, NB Capt, & NB F/O. Cross was saved
until later...

4)Bill Dollaway gave a rundown comparison on the contracts
pre-merger & post merger. He was extremely effective in
tearing down DAL ALPA's argument that this was a financial
windfall for the NWA pilots & we should be willing to trade
money for our seniority. Much of DAL's bravado had been
about the higher hourly rates. Bill not only demonstrated
hourly rate isn't everything, but said that DAL never would
have even gotten LOA 19 improvements had it not been for NWA
pilots & the outlook of a merger. NWA was bringing
something to the party, both groups were benefiting, &
hourly pay rates aren't all that make a W-2. Cross withheld
& DAL lawyer said lots of nasty things in his comments.

5)Greg Averill--the coup de gras--THIS WAS AMAZING TO WATCH.
Greg took the DAL proposal, & tore i t apart piece by piece.
Every condition DAL had, he systematically & convincingly
demonstrated it was designed to benefit DAL at the detriment
of NWA Pilots. For example, DAL had no real plans for
sharing growth. They also wanted their 777 on order to be
considered as theirs while our 787s (on firm order in 2005)
would be new flying to be "shared" between pilot groups.
They had no plan for replacement aircraft. Greg eloquently
spoke of the earlier video showing how the DAL plan allowed
them to take advantage of all our retirements as well as
theirs. The video was shown at the beginning of the day to
demonstrate how much more attrition we have than DAL has in
the future.

If you haven't heard, our List as presented was similar to
the Robert's Award w/a 10 year fence after SOC based on
staffing & planes on order.

The DAL case was based on our two companies not being equal.
If you have read the transcripts of the DAL witnesses, one
would have to wonder why DAL Mgmt would ever want NWA as a
partner. Our case was based on the two companies being
equals. Not like DAL & Pan Am, not like AMR & TWA, not like
American West & US Air, etc.

About 8 PM, Chairman Bloch said he wanted to talk to his
colleagues & then would reconvene in about 20 minutes.
Thinking this was procedural, I made the mistake of leaving.
I was smart enough to give my phone number to someone
remaining (I won't use his name as I haven't asked him
permission) so if something eventful happened, he could let
me know.

About 9PM my phone rang. Now it was noisy & I may have
gotten this a little wrong (I sure hope not), but I was told
that Chairman Bloch wanted to thank both Merger Committees,
that he thought both sides would be better off w/a
negotiated settlement, but THEY WERE TREATING THIS
ARBITRATION AS ONE OF EQUAL COMPANIES.

This may seem unimportant/obvious, but this is/wa s the heart
of the DAL ALPA case & IMO, a shot across their bow. He
then said he would allow the finish of cross examination
tomorrow (Friday), but he expected the two sides to reenter
negotiations & they would be available to mediate if
requested.

All of the men & women (pilots, lawyers, actuaries, staff,
etc) supporting NWA ALPA have done an amazing job. The real
work may just be getting started, but I am very proud & feel
relieved that they are representing me & all NWA pilots.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:25 AM
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SoCalGuy "another pilots observation" is a NORTHWEST PILOT putting HIS spin on the hearings. So what's YOUR point in leaving that little detail out?
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SoCalGuy View Post
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 6:53 AM
Subject: DC hearing info


these are another pilots observations about the sen. list hearings in DC..

This is eery, but I guess it is right before Halloween...

There are so many parallels to USAirways East and West and their arbitration. The lawyers are the same. The arguments are very similar. The confidence each side has in their team is the same. Airways East thought they'd hit a home run....
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:50 AM
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Back to the regularly scheduled thread......


My bet is Nov 7th for DCC
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:08 AM
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Capn,

I think it will be announced after the election also. If I was our add man, I'd want a better news enviroment that just before a national election.

But, I've been wrong about this issue before.

Ferd
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:16 AM
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Anyone know how the equity/DC payout will work with respect to what date the stock price will be used to determine the amounts?
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferd149 View Post
Capn,

I think it will be announced after the election also. If I was our add man, I'd want a better news enviroment that just before a national election.

But, I've been wrong about this issue before.

Ferd
If there is a monetary advantage for the company/companies to any specific date, that is when it will be.
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