Delta Air Lines refused to show its hand after its board of directors apparently met Friday to consider a management request to authorize merger talks with United and Northwest airlines.
A spokesman for the Atlanta airline declined to confirm either the meeting or that it was to consider a request from Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson to begin formal talks with the two airlines, as was widely reported Thursday.
“Delta has a longstanding policy not to comment on board meeting dates or agendas,” said spokesman Kent Landers. …
Even if formal talks are approved, it’s far from certain a merger will follow — or that a proposed deal could survive regulatory scrutiny or possible opposition from politicians or consumer advocates.
Either combination would create the world’s largest airline and mark the biggest merger ever among two U.S. carriers.
Anderson arrived at Delta on Sept. 1 saying he had no plans to pursue a merger. But in recent months, amid souring industry conditions and slumping airline stock prices, he has made no secret he’s open to a deal if Delta is in the driver’s seat.