updated 11/17/2006 11:15:42 AM ET 2006-11-17T16:15:42

Bankrupt Delta Air Lines Inc. is trying to rally support from creditors to help fend off a takeover bid by US Airways Group Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Friday.

Delta Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein and other executives have held a series of conference calls with creditors to sift through terms of US Airways' offer, pressing creditors to back Delta's restructuring plan, the paper said.

The move could give Delta an early advantage in its fight to remain independent, the WSJ said.

US Airways proposed a $8 billion takeover of Delta on Wednesday after an attempt at merger talks failed earlier this fall.

US Airways, the No. 7 U.S. airline with over 35,000 employees, believes the combination will generate at least $1.65 billion in annual savings.

But Delta, the No. 3 U.S. airline with over 47,000 workers, said Wednesday it intends to emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone carrier.

US Airways officials were trying to arrange a meeting with representatives of Delta's official creditors committee, the WSJ said. It cited people familiar with the situation as saying that such a meeting could come as early as next week, with Delta officials expected to attend.

Delta was not immediately available for comment.

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