Justice Department approves Northwest, Delta merger

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Justice Department has approved a much-anticipated merger between Delta and Northwest airlines, and it could mean good news for travelers in South Mississippi.

The approval clears the way for the creation of the world's largest airline. The combined airline would be called Delta and keep its Atlanta headquarters and its chief executive, Richard Anderson.

Bruce Frallic with the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport told WLOX News that the deal will not change the number of flights in and out of Memphis and Atlanta.

"What it may have is an impact on the size of aircraft. We could see an increase of seats going to Memphis which will relieve, to some degree, the pressure we are experiencing in Atlanta," Frallic said.

But Frallic said travelers may not see that change for a year.

Another hurdle remains ahead, however: a federal lawsuit seeking to block the deal. Trial is set for Nov. 5 in San Francisco.