Delta executive meets with Northwest pilots

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Delta Air Lines sent its president to Minnesota today to answer questions from Northwest Airlines pilots as the two carriers move toward a merger.

The meeting behind closed doors at a St. Paul hotel was unusual in bringing together the pilots of one airline and high-ranking executives from another. A pilot agreement is not necessary for the planned Delta-Northwest ombination, but executives say it would help the new airline save money faster.

Ed Bastian spent more than two hours with Northwest pilot leaders discussing the impact of high fuel prices and Delta's desired timing for reaching a joint contract.

Dave Stevens of the Northwest pilots' union says the main point he stressed to Bastian was that "to have a successful merger, all pilots and all employees have to be treated the same."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-06-05-08 2048EDT

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