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NORTHWEST AIRLINES INFORMATION
Northwest Airlines (IATA: NW, ICAO: NWA, and Callsign: Northwest) is an airline headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, with three major hubs in the United States: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and Memphis International Airport.
Northwest also operates flights from a hub in Asia from Narita International Airport near Tokyo, and also operates transatlantic and Asian flights in cooperation with partner KLM from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Northwest is currently theorld's fourth largest airline in terms of RPK (revenue-passenger-kilometers). In addition to operating one of the largest domestic route networks in the U.S., Northwest carries more passengers across the Pacific (5.1 million in 2004) than any other U.S. carrier, and carries more air cargo than any other passenger airline. The airline, along with its parent company and subsidiaries, is currently operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Northwest Airlines' regional flights are operated under the name Northwest Airlink by Mesaba Airlines and Pinnacle Airlines. Its frequent flyer program is called WorldPerks.
Northwest currently has one of the oldest fleets among all major air carriers, with a fleet average airframe age of 18.3 years. This is due, in part, to a large fleet of Douglas DC-9s dating from the 1970s and -80s whic were acquired via the Republic Airlines merger in 1986. In an attempt to extend their useful lives, Northwest replaced the aging interiors of the DC-9 fleet in the mid-1990s with all-new materials similar to those in the cabin of the Boeing 717. DC-9 aircraft are being retired at a rate of about 30 a year as they reach their maximum flight ratings. Exactly how the airline will replace them in the long run is still an open question, but at present Northwest seems to be moving towards a solution using CRJs operated by its Northwest Airlink subsidiaries. Excluding its DC-9 fleet, the airline's average fleet age is 9.9 years. Northwest was for over three decades a large Boeing 727 operator. As the aircraft aged, the 727 fleet was slowly replaced throughout the 1990s with Airbus A319 and Airbus A320 aircraft. The final 727 aircraft were retired in 2003 after the industry downturn caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since the 1960s, Northwest has operated one of the world's largest Boeing 747 fleets, flying an all-B747 fleet to and within Asia from the 1970s through the early 2000s. Since then, older 747-100 and 747-200 series aircraft have been retired and replaced with the Airbus A330 and Boeing 747-400. In addition to the DC-9, Northwest also currently operates older McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Boeing 747-200 aircraft.
Northwest is in the midst of a major long-haul fleet renewal program. As part of this program, Northwest introduced a simplified new paint scheme and logo in April 2003. The airline is currently replacing its DC-10 and Boeing 747-200 aircraft with the Airbus A330 and the new Boeing 787. The first Airbus 330-323, used on European flights, arrived on August 6, 2003.
Northwest has been involved in the launch of numerous aircraft. In 1989, the airline was the primary launch customer for the Boeing 747-400. Northwest was also the United States launch customer for the Airbus A320 with N301US, an A320-211 manufactured on 6 June 1989. In 2005, Northwest announced plans to be the North American launch customer for the Boeing 787, which will be delivered in 2008. Northwest will also be the first U.S. based carrier to operate the Boeing 787.
All of Northwest's aircraft have a two-class configuration: coach and first class on domestic routes; coach and World Business Class on international routes. Northwest does not offer inflight entertainment or computer power on any domestic flight in either class. Northwest's A330s and 747-451s have the first lie-flat business class seats of any U.S. airline. Northwest's World Business Class is comparable to other airlines' First Class products. Although both All Nippon Airways' and JAL's business class seats have greater pitch and width than Northwest's 60" pitch and 20" width offered with the World Business Class seat. In addition, United Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic all offer increased seat pitch and/or width with their First Class product compared to the World Business Class product. Airbus A330 aircraft have a personal, individually controlled video monitor for every seat, and AC power outlets for many seats. For information on the fleet of Northwest's Airlink partners, see Mesaba Airlines or Pinnacle Airlines.
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