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ATLANTA — The boards of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines may meet today to discuss a merger deal that would create the nation’s largest airline, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this morning.

The 11,000 pilots for the two airlines are the key to the final deal, the newspaper reported. A longtime Delta pilot briefed on the talks said the plan created by union negotiators would give each pilot a $50,000-$100,000 stake in the new company, but only if pilot unions for both airlines ratify the agreement. That would amount to up to $1 billion, or 5% to 7% of the value of the new company, which would be paid out either in cash or stock, the AJC reported.

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