Updated from 12:55 p.m. EST

US Airways ( LCC) has raised its hostile offer for Delta Air Lines ( DALRQ), increasing its bid to roughly $10.2 billion, but now it might not be the only potential merger partner for the Atlanta-based carrier.

Under the new terms, Delta's unsecured creditors would receive $5 billion in cash and 89.5 million US Airways shares. US Airways valued its first half-cash, half-stock offer made Nov. 15 at $8 billion.

Since then, US Airways' stock has risen, and lately, it was up again, adding 92 cents, or 1.6%, to $58.82.

Meanwhile, complicating matters for US Airways is word that Delta has held talks with the other bankrupt major airline, Northwest ( NWACQ), according to an industry source who's aware of the situation but didn't want to be named.

If US Airways had gotten wind of the discussions, that might have had something to do with its willingness to come at Delta with substantially improved terms. Northwest declined to comment. The talks were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

What's certain is that the revised US Airways proposal was triggered partially by Delta's Jan. 4 bankruptcy court request to buy 30 regional jets from Bombardier with options for 30 more, said US Airways President Scott Kirby in an interview.

"Actions like that could potentially destroy some of the $1.65 billion in synergy value," he said. "We think the time to act is now, and we are ready to move the process forward," Kirby added. "If we start now, the creditors can avoid getting into a situation where they have to make a decision with incomplete information."

The new bid would expire Feb. 1 unless creditors take "affirmative action" on three fronts. They include beginning due diligence on the offer, filing required documents under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and postponing a court hearing, now scheduled for Feb. 7, on Delta's disclosure statement.

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