US Airways To Meet Delta, Creditors Thursday

November 29, 2006

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US Airways is set to meet representatives of bankrupt Delta Air Lines and a key group of its creditors in New York on Thursday, sources familiar with the matter said.

The meeting will be the first opportunity for US Airways to present details of its USD$8.5 billion takeover offer for Delta directly to the carrier's official committee of unsecured creditors. The group will have a large say in the airline's future.

At the meeting, US Airways will make a presentation to the bankrupt carrier and its creditors' committee on how a combined airline would work and how to resolve integration issues, Daniel Golden, lead lawyer for the creditors' committee said earlier this week.

US Airways, the number 7 US carrier, has so far met resistance from Delta's management. The number 3 US airline has said it will review the bid, but is still focused on emerging from bankruptcy protection as an independent airline.

Atlanta-based Delta, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since September 2005, plans to file its reorganization plan next month with the aim of emerging from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2007.

Delta's pilots' union, which is on the creditors' committee, has expressed concerns about the deal.

The airline has been recalling pilots and flight attendants as it expands its international routes and restructures operations.

"By every indication, including this and other recent employee recalls, Delta's plan is working and we are on track," Delta Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst said in a statement on Wednesday announcing the recall of 200 pilots.

But US Airways has won some backing from Delta bondholders, who formed a group last week to support the bid, according to sources familiar with the matter.