If the domestic airline industry moves towards consolidation,
Delta Air Lines will lead the charge. That's the opinion of US
Airways CEO Doug Parker, even though his own hostile takeover bid
for Delta failed this past spring.
When his turn came at this week's Reuters Aerospace and Defense
Summit in Washington, DC, Parker (above) said Delta is uniquely
positioned to be the catalyst for what could be a wave of airline
mergers... despite the carrier's earlier reluctance towards US
"Delta will be the trigger if they want to be," said Parker.
"When they decide to do something, that will be the trigger."
Parker reasons US Airways and Northwest are too small to kick
start the process, while United is willing but has so far been
unable to generate much interest. American and Continental Airlines
appear unwilling to try.
He told Reuters he believes 2008 will be a difficult year for
the airlines, but that they are better prepared to survive an
economic downturn today than they were in the past.
"I think the definition of a difficult year in our business has
gotten more manageable," Parker said.