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Delta, Northwest to merge gates

From news services

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to stop using roughly 170 gates at airports it serves as part of the integration of its operations with Northwest Airlines, Chief Executive Richard Anderson told employees.

In a recorded message to employees late Thursday, Anderson said giving up the gates will result in millions of dollars in rental savings.

"It’s exciting to see the airlines brought together and running a single operation," Anderson said.

Atlanta-based Delta acquired Northwest on Oct. 29, 2008 in a stock swap deal that created the world’s biggest carrier. Delta said at the time it would take up to two years to integrate its operations with Northwest.

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Among the changes customers will see are new signs with Delta’s name where Northwest’s used to be, new paint on Northwest airplanes and the consolidation of gates at airports in the U.S. and other countries.

At airports where Delta has been the dominant player and has more gates, such as in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., it is likely that Northwest gates would be folded into Delta gates, spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Friday. At airports where Northwest has been the dominant player and has more gates, such as in Detroit, it is likely Delta gates would be folded into Northwest gates, she said.

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