Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, April 23, 2001

Delta's pilot contract could cost $2.7 billion

Atlanta >> Delta Air Lines Inc.'s tentative pilots contract reached yesterday will cost the third- largest U.S. airline $2 billion to $2.7 billion if cockpit crews approve the agreement, analysts said.

Delta pilots' wages will rise 24 percent to 39 percent, depending on the planes they fly and their seniority, by the end of the four-year contract, the union said. Delta's pilots would become the industry's best-paid, with rates 1 percent higher than those won by pilots last year at UAL Corp.'s United Airlines.

"Once United capitulated to their pilots last fall, a very expensive Delta contract became a forgone conclusion," said PaineWebber analyst Sam Buttrick, who has a "strong buy" rating on Delta.

The agreement eliminated a strike deadline set for midnight Saturday and possible intervention by U.S. President George W. Bush to stop a walkout. A Delta pilots' council of 22 members will decide by next Monday whether to send the tentative contract to all pilots for a vote. Both groups must approve the contract for it to take effect.

Tokyo stocks fall 50 points as election results loom

TOKYO >> Japan's closely-watched stock index fell today as investors awaited the results of the ruling party's presidential election. The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 50.07 points, or 0.36 percent, to close at 13,715.60.

The Nikkei index opened higher amid the strengthening view that populist Junichiro Koizumi was likely to replace Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

But futures-led selling dampened sentiment later. Traders said many market participants withheld judgment on whether Koizumi can carry through on drastic structural reform. Rank-and-file members of the Liberal Democratic Party rallied behind Koizumi on the final day of voting by local party chapters to select a new LDP president. LDP members of Parliament vote tomorrow.

The LDP president is certain to become prime minister as the party controls Parliament.

Kodak soups up its new digital cameras

SAN JOSE, Calif. >> Eastman Kodak Co. has developed a camera system it claims will make digital photography easier than ever. The world's biggest photography company will unveil the EasyShare System today -- the first two camera models in a series that will be compatible with a dock designed to simplify storing, transferring and sharing photos. Once the camera is in the USB connection dock, pictures automatically upload to the computer, and the dock recharges the camera's battery pack.

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