ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines' pilots union said last night it had reached a tentative pact on concessions that could save the struggling carrier from bankruptcy.
Union spokeswoman Karen Miller said the deal came after 15 months of negotiations that have intensified in recent days. She said the union would review the agreement, but would not provide details for now.
Atlanta-based Delta had said it would have to seek bankruptcy if it didn't get $1 billion in concessions from its 7,000 pilots. Miller would not say if the tentative agreement covered $1 billion.
The nation's third-largest airline was expected to decide by yesterday whether to seek Chapter 11 protection from creditors. It said that could be delayed if the airline and pilots union reached an agreement. A company spokeswoman said last night no decision had been made. She declined to elaborate. The deal must be ratified by rank-and-file pilots, which could take several days.
Tuesday was Delta's self-imposed deadline for debtholders to respond early to an exchange offer meant to give the airline breathing room. The deadline came and went without word from Delta on its progress.
Delta has warned its debt could force it into bankruptcy, even if its unions agree to sizable concessions.