Delta-MSP Deal Approved

The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which manages Minneapolis-St. Paul International, yesterday voted to approve an agreement with Delta Air Lines under which MSP will become the "Delta North" headquarters and the airline will retain many of the financial benefits that subsidiary Northwest Airlines enjoyed by basing its headquarters there.

DL and MAC reached a tentative deal in December, but MAC's board declined to approve it this month. DL held firm to the deal, demanding an up-or-down vote at yesterday's MAC board meeting. Board members voted 9-to-1 to approve, with several members abstaining.

"This agreement solidifies our commitment to Minnesota," DL CEO Richard Anderson said, adding that it "protects jobs and air service" at MSP. DL will keep 10,000 workers at its North headquarters, operate at least 400 daily flights at MSP and pay off loans from MAC to NWA by 2016 instead of 2022. DL also will base its regional airline management in the Minneapolis area.