As airlines around the globe struggle to navigate through tough times for the industry, Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. have come up with their own possible solution. By Tuesday, the two companies had reached an agreement to join forces and create Delta, the world’s biggest airline.

The Los Angeles Times:

The pact came amid one of the industry’s most tumultuous periods as three airlines collapsed in one week and American Airlines, currently the largest carrier in the world, canceled thousands of flights because of missed aircraft inspections.

Like its competitors, the new airline would have to tackle two challenges plaguing the industry: escalating prices for jet fuel and the cost of maintaining an aging fleet of jetliners.

Delta and Northwest said the merged airline could better utilize its hundreds of airplanes and generate $1 billion in new annual revenue and savings from slashing redundant operations. Delta said the value of the combined airline would be $17.7 billion.

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