We’re excited to report the completion of another merger milestone this week (and this one’s been a doozie). We’ve updated 247 airports around the world with Delta branding as part of our merger with Northwest. Talk about easier said than done. This merger makeover was like having a dinner party while you’re renovating the kitchen.
Our number one goal was to make the process seamless for our customers. We had to ensure that flight operations could continue unaffected while we made some major changes at each airport. That means we updated all airports between the last flight out and the first take-off the following day – quite the graveyard shift for a lot of Delta folks who made it happen.
So, how did we do it? We’ve been planning this integration since September 2008, and there isn’t a group or department at Delta that hasn’t been involved. From Airport Customer Service to Corporate Real Estate all the way to Information Technology and Cargo, this accomplishment is a true team effort!
While you may have only seen Northwest signs come down and the Delta signs go up, so much more was going on behind the scenes. We assessed each and every airport and completed an extensive 150-line checklist to make sure we had dotted our “I”s and crossed our “T”s.
Everything had to be reviewed and planned appropriately. In some cases, this was as “easy” as taking two operations (check-in counters, gates, etc.) and consolidating them into one. In others, we worked with other airlines to move their operations (and our employees did physically move other airlines) before we could start setting up our operations. Once we had the blueprint for the airport, we began the process to ensure that all necessary elements were ordered and in place prior to consolidation – things as big as new loading bridges and ticket counters all the way down to boarding pass readers and checked baggage tags – had to be moved, ordered or replaced. Finally, we worked with just about every department to confirm we were all ready for each respective big day. Sales, marketing, IT, operations, catering, customer service, even phone and janitorial services had to be ready at all 247 airports!
Between November 2008 and January 2010, we rebranded 15 to 20 airports around the world per month. The end result: one combined airline with a consistent presence across the globe (not to mention $75 million in savings per year by ensuring more efficient airport operations).
All in all, we’re pretty thrilled to check off another major merger to-do. Tell us what you think. Have you noticed any changes at your hometown airport? How’s it look?
Corporate Real Estate