COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) - About three-thousand pilots, their families, airline employees and other officials gathered today in College Park to rally behind keeping Delta Air Lines an independent carrier based in Atlanta.
Delta Captain Tom Winecoff says the purpose of the rally is to send "an overwhelming message to Tempe, Arizona. That message is as clear as we can put it: Do not mess with our company."
Many in the crowd are wearing buttons that say "Keep Delta My Delta." Others outside the center carried signs with the same message.
The rally was called to protest U-S Airways' 8.7 billion dollar bid to take over Delta. U.S Airways disclosed the hostile takeover November 15th.
Delta's management also opposes the merger.
A pilot on the stage today asked the crowd "Is this merger going to go through? Do you want to move to Philly?" where U.S Airways has a hub.
The crowd shouted, "No."
U.S Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S Representative David Scott were among those who spoke to the crowd.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)