Significant events in the histories of Delta and Northwest:

— 1929: Delta starts its first passenger flights over a route from Dallas to Jackson, Miss.

— 1926: Col. Lewis Brittin founds Northwest Airways to carry air mail from the Twin Cities to Chicago with two rented biplanes. It flies its first ticketed passengers the next year.

— 1947: Northwest becomes the first commercial airline to fly from the U.S. to Japan.

— 1972: Northeast Airlines merges with Delta.

— 1986: Northwest acquires Republic Airlines, nearly doubling its work force.

— 1987: Delta merges with Western Airlines, becoming fourth largest U.S. carrier.

— 1989: Northwest is acquired in a leveraged buyout by an investor group that includes support from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

— 1991: Delta purchases most of Pan Am's trans-Atlantic routes and the Pan Am Shuttle.

— 1998: Northwest pilots strike for 15 days.

— Oct. 1, 2004: Northwest CEO Richard Anderson leaves to join UnitedHealth; Doug Steenland becomes CEO of Northwest.

— Aug. 20, 2005: Northwest Mechanics strike rather than accept wage cuts and layoffs.

— Sept. 14, 2005: Both airlines file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

— April 30, 2007: Delta emerges from bankruptcy.

— May 31, 2007: Northwest exits bankruptcy protection.

— Sept. 1, 2007: Anderson becomes CEO of Delta.

— April 14, 2008: Delta and Northwest announce intent to combine in stock-swap deal.