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Delta seeks end to pilots' pension

PARIS - Delta Air Lines Inc. will file a request to terminate its pilots' defined benefit pension plan ''fairly soon,'' Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said in an interview Friday in which he also talked about employee pay cuts, his future and whether a merger is a good idea.

Grinstein, in Paris for a meeting with other executives, told The Associated Press that the Atlanta-based airline is in talks with the United States' pension insurer about the pilots' pension.

Asked when the company planned to seek termination of the pension, Grinstein said, ''It'll be probably fairly soon.''

He said the third-largest airline in the U.S. is keeping the pilots' union informed about the discussions with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

''We've got a judicial schedule to conform to,'' he said. ''All of those are pieces in motion, but it'll be fairly soon.''

It was the first time a Delta executive has said for sure that the airline plans to terminate the pilots' pension. In the past, the company has said only that it would likely seek termination.

A union spokeswoman, Kelly Collins, had no immediate comment when reached by telephone Friday.