Northwest Weighs All Options Amid Merger Talk

January 16, 2008

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Northwest Airlines, reportedly in merger discussions with Delta Air Lines, must consider its options pro-actively to ensure a strong place in the ultra-competitive airline industry, the carrier's chief executive said in an internal memo to employees on Tuesday.

"...We need to pro-actively consider all options available to us and not just wait for our future to be dictated to us," CEO Doug Steenland said in the memo.

Steenland's memo was in response to intensifying speculation that Northwest and United Airlines parent UAL are both in merger discussions with Delta, the No. 3 US airline.

The CEO did not confirm in his message that Northwest was, in fact, in talks with Delta, but he did not deny it. His memo reiterated some of the sentiments he expressed to employees last week.

Northwest spokeswoman Tammy Lee said, "We are going to continue our policy of not commenting on speculation or media coverage related to merger talks."

UAL also has declined to comment on talk of a possible merger with Delta.