Commentary: Delta Will Fly Farther Without Excess Baggage

A merger would weigh down Delta's healthy balance sheet, risk culture clash, and lead to possible union problems

Delta Air Lines' Leo F. Mullin has a dilemma. He's a close No. 3 in the airline industry but his two larger rivals, United and American, are putting together huge mergers that would give them half of the U.S. market and leave Delta with just a 17% share. Should the chief executive hurry a blockbuster deal of his own? Or should he chill, avoiding the me-too impulses of the M&A industry, and take smaller steps like improving service to outshine the competition?

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