Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said the merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines will create "the strongest, most durable of all the airlines." Anderson joined Delta as a member of the board in 2007 and was selected as CEO soon after. After his appointment, the board urged him to orchestrate a merger with another airline, and Anderson became convinced that airlines would need to consolidate as oil prices climbed. During negotiations with Northwest, Anderson insisted that Delta be the acquirer, and he reached a last-minute deal with Delta pilots.

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