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Byline: Maria M. Perotin
Jun. 3--The casualties in Comair's pilot strike are piling up, but neither side is blinking after a 70-day standoff.
The airline has lost millions of dollars. Executives have shrunk the carrier's fleet by almost a third. Pilots' families are living on union strike benefits instead of salaries. And thousands of other Comair employees are getting no paychecks at all.
So why are the pilots and the carrier entrenched, when both have so much to lose in what has become the nation's longest airline strike since 1989?
Industry watchers say it's because the Delta Air Lines subsidiary and its pilots are adamant that they will not capitulate in a battle that could transform the regional airline industry.
And while labor strikes usually devastate airlines with a total shutdown, the action at Comair hasn't stopped Delta from selling millions of tickets on its other flights.
That leaves Delta in a position to wait out the strike indefinitely, with little motivation to cave in, some experts said.
"Each side seems to perceive that there's a great deal more at stake here than just a contract," said James Brock, a professor of economics at Miami University …