By late Friday neither Delta Airlines nor Northwest had made any comment regarding potential consolidation discussions. In a Wall Street Journal story Thursday, people close to the matter were cited as saying Delta would seek permission from its board of directors for Chief Executive Richard Anderson to begin merger talks with Northwest. Analysts also expect Delta to consider a tie up with either United Airlines parent company UAL Corp. or Continental Airlines [s; cal]. Delta and a Northwest declined to comment when reached by phone. Delta shares were up a fraction to $15.63 in after market trading, while Northwest was down a fraction to $15.72.