JOINING US FORCES

THE FORMAL INTEGRATION of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, which officially began in November, is expected to cost US$600 million (£390 million).

Although flagged as a merger, Delta's codes now appear on most Northwest flights, and Delta livery and uniforms will be phased in during the course of this spring.

Everything from airport lounges to loyalty programmes - and even the in-flight cocktails - is to be rebranded over the next two years.

The 'new' airline will be called Delta, and will be headquartered in Atlanta, although it will retain Northwest's Minneapolis/St Paul base as one of seven US hubs. Tokyo Narita will constitute an eighth hub. The combined carrier will operate between 375 points in 66 countries, carrying an estimated 170 million passengers a year.

• NORTHWEST AIRLINES is pulling off the London Gatwick-Detroit route, jointly operated with KLM, from January 11. Delta will continue to serve Atlanta and Cincinnati from Gatwick, and Northwest will maintain the existing direct service between Heathrow and Detroit.

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