"We are confident that the transaction presents no antitrust issues," Mohr said.

Delta spokesman Kent Landers said the transaction has broad support. Nearly 10,000 Delta customers and employees have voiced support to the departments of Justice and Transportation, as have a variety of New York officials including two senators, 20 members of Congress, New York state Governor David Paterson and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he said. In addition, the Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association recently encouraged its members to back the deal.

Speaking to reporters in Charlotte last month, US Airways CEO Doug Parker said US Airways would be weakened in the New York area, but he noted that even today it has just 4% of the traffic. US Airways would become stronger at National, with more than 50% of traffic.

USAPA's intent is to save jobs and to maintain a strong presence at LaGuardia, said spokesman James Ray. "We've been trying to save the crew bases and US Airways flying out of LaGuardia, which is one of the most highly sought after markets in the world," he said. "We've been talking to the company, but so far that has fallen on deaf ears."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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