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Delta Finalizes Merger With Northwest
By Andy McDill

Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport, is now home to the world’s largest airline.  Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines officially merged on October 29, creating a premier global airline with service to nearly all of the world’s major travel markets

The new airline, called Delta and headquartered in Atlanta, said in a news release that it will serve 66 countries and more than 375 worldwide cities – more than any other airline. It will have a dedicated base of approximately 75,000 worldwide employees and will operate with a best-in-class cost structure and strong liquidity balance that better positions the company to adapt to the weakening global economy.

The merger cements Atlanta’s position as the U.S. gateway to the world. Hartsfield-Jackson now will offer business centers and communities worldwide faster and more convenient connections between Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.


Delta Airlines

“We think we’ll get larger aircraft on current routes and additional routes as a result of this,” DeCosta told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “This is good for the Airport, and it’s good for our economy.

Plans are already underway to extend its longest runway — Runway 9 Left, 27 Right — by about 500 feet to accommodate long-haul Boeing 747-400s from the Northwest fleet. The runway, located just south of the terminal, is currently 11,855 feet long.

“We think [the merger] means we are going to be more resilient and have more traffic despite the negative forces of a worldwide recession,” DeCosta said to the Atlanta Business Chronicle in an interview. It also enhances Atlanta’s “global reputation.”

According to Delta, the Airport will see no changes to facilities, check-in areas or gates. The transition will take place during the next 12 to 24 months. In the meantime, customers should continue to check in with the airline operating their flight.

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