Political Leaders Urge Northwest to Keep Minnesota Promises

ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota's political leaders are presenting a united front in their insistence that Northwest Airlines live up to its obligations to the state if there is a merger with Delta Air Lines.

Governor Tim Pawlenty and the leaders of the Legislature say they are researching options available to state government if the merger occurs. They say it's too soon to say exactly how the state will react, because merger details are limited.

Northwest has signed agreements to maintain a hub and headquarters in Minnesota in exchange for past loans and future airport concessions. But as the larger carrier going in, Pawlenty says Delta might put the merged airline's headquarters in Atlanta.

Pawlenty says he's "extremely concerned" about the potential impact of a deal on Minnesota.

Northwest employs 11,500 people in Minnesota, about 1,000 of which are tied to its Eagan headquarters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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