🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

Airlines pitch merger to Congress

John Dimsdale Apr 21, 2008


Renita Jablonski: The proposed merger of Delta and Northwest is in front of Congressional committees this week. John Dimsdale reports the airlines have hired some first class talent to help steer their way through Washington’s bureaucracy.

John Dimsdale: The marriage of Delta and Northwest could send other struggling airlines to the altar. But Minnesota’s Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar worries that larger airlines will mean higher fares and fewer destinations.

Amy Klobuchar: I think that there will be turbulence in Congress.

To help land the merger, Delta and Northwest have signed up high-powered lobbyists, including former Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux.

Klobuchar: It’s not surprising me they’re hiring lobbyists, but I think the public needs a lobbyist here and that’s what we’re doing.

Clearly, the airlines are going to need some insider help, says Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt.

Henry Harteveldt: No airline merger goes unnoticed. Air service is critical to communities’ economic development, keeping people who live there in town, attracting and keeping businesses and, of course, tourism.

This week, the airlines will tell Congress their merger is necessary to weather soaring fuel costs and a struggling economy.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.