Believe me, my reaction was probably the same as everyone else’s when I glaced at the WSJ headline about Delta sniffing out the idea of a business deal for AA. “HUH?!” I’m not surprised that Delta, US Airways, and any other equity investment firms are doing their homework on the possibility of buying AA. Any smart businessperson should be looking at all possible scenarios, and my complaints about SkyMiles aside, I think Delta’s executives are among the smartest in the business.
That said, there are a lot of air miles between today and any kind of acquisition of AA by Delta or anyone else. Management has yet to present its own plan of reorganization which it has an exclusive right to do for several months. Then there’s the not so small issue of a Delta purchase of AA’s impact on the Oneworld alliance. The downlow on that – I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hades that British Airways doesn’t find a way to keep AA independent and part of Oneworld as opposed to letting Delta buy the assets they can with the rest being parted out to other airlines. Long story short, no AA, no Oneworld, and I just don’t see it happening.
It’s going to be one heck of an interesting 2012.