THIS WEEK WE INTRODUCE YOU TO A LEGENDARY AIRLINE. MOST OF YOU READING THIS MUST HAVE ALREADY TAKEN A RIDE ON THE BIG BIRD! THIS WEEK'S SHOWCASE AIRLINE IS NORTHWEST AIRLINES
Northwest Airlines, Inc. (often abbreviated NWA), was a major United States airline headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Northwest has merged into Delta Air Lines. Northwest had three major hubs in the United States: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, and Memphis International Airport. Northwest also operated flights from its Asian hub at Narita International Airport (Tokyo). Transatlantic flights were operated from its European hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in cooperation with its partner airline KLM.
|NORTHWEST AIRLINE ON FINALS|
|NWA WORLDPERKS CARD|
In February 2009, the airline began consolidating gates and ticket counters at airports served simultaneously by both Delta and Northwest. The rebranding included the changing of Northwest signs to Delta signs. The integration continued into early 2010. The airline's hubs in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Memphis were rebranded on March 31, 2009.The Tokyo hub was rebranded on August 24, 2009. In October 2009, the airline's operations center was relocated to Delta's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
|NWA AIRCRAFT TAXIING FOR TAKEOFF|
The integration of both carriers was completed on January 31, 2010, and Northwest Airlines's website nwa.com was merged into delta.com. As a result the old NWA URL now redirects to Delta and the old online booking pages are no longer accessible. On January 4, 2011, 12 months after Northwest had ceased operations, the last planes (5 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-40s) in Northwest livery were retired.
Northwest Airlines was founded on September 1, 1926, by Colonel Lewis Brittin, under the name Northwest Airways, a reference to the historical name for the Midwestern United States that derived from the Northwest Territory. Like other early airlines, Northwest's focus was not in hauling passengers, but in flying mail for the U.S. Post Office Department.The fledgling airline established a mail route between Minneapolis and Chicago, using open-cockpit biplanes such as the Curtiss Oriole and the Waco JYM. From 1928 the enclosed cabin six-passenger Hamilton H-45 and H-47 designs were used.Northwest Airlines began carrying passengers in 1927.
|NWA OLD LOGO|
With its new system of transpacific flights established, Northwest began to advertise itself as the Northwest Orient Airlines, although its registered corporate name remained "Northwest Airlines".
|INTRESTING BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF NWA|
In 1954 Northwest Orient purchased a group of Douglas Aircraft Company DC-6Bs, and the airline started flying these on the northwestern U.S. to Tokyo, and U.S. to Manila, routes, beginning on April 1, 1954, via Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.
In 1952 United States and Japan ratified a regional bilateral aviation treaty. Under its terms, Northwest Orient and Pan American World Airways became the two American airlines allowed to fly from West Coast to the Tokyo International Airport. They also received permission to carry passengers via and beyond Tokyo (to such destinations as South Korea, the Republic of China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. In the jargon of the airline businesses, these flights were called "fifth freedoms of the air" or "fifth freedom" flights. At the time there were no American or Japanese flights to the Soviet Union (such as to Vladivostok) or to Red China.
For years Northwest Orient Airlines was the largest non-Japanese airline using Tokyo's Narita Airport. Besides flights to and from the United States, it flew passengers from Japan to many cities in East Asia and Southeast Asia, including Seoul and Busan, Taipei, Manila, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. It also flew passenger routes that connected Japan with Guam and Saipan, American possessions in the Western Pacific Ocean. Recall that there were no flights to Red China during those years, because the United States and that country were in a long state of Cold War, and also Red China was living in self-imposed isolation from most of the non-communist countries of the world, including the Americas, Australia, and much of Asia and Europe.
Before the development of the jumbo jet, few airline flights were scheduled nonstop across the Pacific Ocean. They became feasible with the introduction of the 707-320B in 1962 (although Pan Am's timetable showed hopefully-nonstop 707-320 flights earlier, eastward only). As for the Northern Pacific, recall that there were two hubs for long-distance flights: Alaska and Hawaii.Northwest's meteorologists, led by Dan Sowa, pioneered the first clear-air turbulence forecasting system in 1957, important since the airline flew many northern routes over turbulence-prone mountain areas. Northwest remains a leader in turbulence prediction, providing TPAWS (turbulence prediction and warning services) to other airlines.On June 1, 1959, Northwest accepted its first turboprop jet aircraft, the Lockheed L-188 Electra, from its manufacturer. On July 8, 1960, Northwest placed the Douglas DC-8 jetliner into service, offering the shortest flight times on routes from the United States to East Asia. In August 1960, Northwest retired the last of its Boeing 377 Stratocruisers. The airline purchased several of the Boeing 720B airliners in 1961, and in 1963 it bought several of the new Boeing 707; for a time it adopted the slogan "Northwest Orient: The Fan-Jet Airline". Northwest Airlines started flying the three-jet Boeing 727 airliner in 1964.
Revenue passenger traffic (scheduled flights only, in millions of passenger-miles): 602 in 1951, 1017 in 1955, 1654 in 1960, 3304 in 1965, 4506 in 1970 and 9471 in 1975.
After airline deregulation, Northwest began nonstop flights to other Asian cities, returned to China in 1984 after a 34 year hiatus, and gradually strengthened its presence in the southern United States. It also began flying to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. On May 21, 1984, shareholders in Northwest approved the creation of NWA Inc., a Delaware corporation that was the holding company of Northwest.On October 1, 1986, in response to United Airlines purchase of Pan Am's Pacific Division, and in order to provide the domestic feed it required to compete effectively, Northwest merged with Minneapolis-St. Paul-based Republic Airlines. NWA then adopted its three-hub network centered around Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, and Memphis. Northwest dropped the word Orient from its brand name after the merger.
|NORTHWEST ORIENT LOGO|
The airline's ownership also had major changes in 1989. Northwest was purchased in a 1989 leveraged buyout by an investment group headed by Al Checchi, Fred Malek and Gary Wilson, with KLM, and many others. To pay off the debt incurred in their takeover, the new management sold many of the airline's aircraft to leasing companies, and sold property around the world, including land in central Tokyo. The expense of the buyout was so great that in 1993, following several years of losses due to industry overcapacity and a traffic downturn following the Gulf War, Northwest threatened bankruptcy unless its employee groups agreed to three years of wage cuts. After signing the concessionary agreements, Northwest made its first profit since 1989.
|NWA PRESIDENT & CEO-DOUG STEENLAND|
Also in 1993, Northwest began its strategic alliance with KLM, which was the largest airline partnership ever conceived at the time. This partnership eventually became the Wings Alliance. However, the alliance never grew beyond the two airlines, and is now obsolete from a passenger's perspective, because both airlines are part of the larger SkyTeam Alliance. (From a legal perspective, the Northwest/KLM alliance remains important: it has antitrust immunity, whereas the broader SkyTeam alliance merely has code-sharing privileges.) Northwest gradually pulled out of its minor European destinations and once more focused its attention on the domestic and Asian markets. On May 1, 1996 Northwest began its first nonstop service from the U.S. to China, on the Detroit–Beijing route. Nonstop Detroit-Shanghai service followed in April 2000. Later, these nonstop services were suspended in 2002 due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Northwest then served these routes via Tokyo. The airline sought government approval to restore nonstop Detroit-Shanghai service in March 2007 but lost its bid to United's Washington Dulles-Beijing route; however, before their merger with Delta Air Lines, Northwest received tentative authority to restart nonstop Detroit-Shanghai service starting March 25, 2009.
|GETTING READY TO HIT THE SKIES !|
Following many years of a pioneering and close partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Northwest, along with partners KLM and Continental Airlines joined SkyTeam, an airline alliance of ten airlines from around the world, on September 15, 2004. This was partially a result of Air France acquiring KLM, forming the Air France-KLM group. The airline continued to hemorrhage money, however.
|NWA US CONNECTIVITY!|
|NWA B747 FLARING FOR TOUCHDOWN|
On August 12, 2007, Northwest Airlines became a passive investor in the purchase of Midwest Airlines by TPG Capital. The airline stated that while it was an investor, it would not participate in any management or control of Midwest Airlines. However, on August 14, 2007, AirTran Airways raised their offer for Midwest to $16.25 a share, 25 cents more than the TPG offer.But soon after on August 17, 2007, TPG Capital raised their offer to $17.00 a share which sealed the deal. Northwest Airlines became a minority owner of Midwest Airlines in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Merger with Delta Air Lines
On April 14, 2008, Northwest Airlines announced that it would be merging with Delta Air Lines to form the world's largest airline. The merger was approved on October 29, 2008. The combined airline uses the Delta name and branding. On January 31, 2010, Delta completed the merge of the reservation systems and discontinued using the Northwest name for flights. The official last Northwest flight was NW2470 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.The last Northwest departure was actually a chartered Airbus A319 flying as Northwest Flight 9946, a flight between Washington (IAD) and Minneapolis, departed at 12:54 am EST on January 31. The last flight to land was Northwest Flight 248, a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam, landing at 5:33 am EST, 1053 Zulu.
|DELTA-NWA MERGING ON THE TARMAC|
FLEETAs part of a major fleet renewal program, Northwest introduced a simplified new paint scheme and logo in 2003. The airline replaced its McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airliners with the Airbus A330. Its first Airbus A330-300, used initially just on European flights, arrived on August 6, 2003. Northwest also flew the longer ranged and slightly shorter A330-200 on some trans-Pacific flights, within the Orient, and on some trans-Atlantic routes. The majority of Northwest Airlines' flights between North America and Europe were flown in Airbus A330s.
|A330 NWA APPROACHING TOUCHDOWN|
|B747 FREIGHTER FOR NWA CARGO|
In January 2008, Northwest advised its pilots that the airline planned to cut its fleet of 92 DC-9s to 68 by the end of 2008. Northwest stated that pilot jobs will not be reduced, as they would hire approximately 200–250 pilots by the end of 2008.On April 23, 2008, due to soaring fuel costs from $1.85 in the first quarter of 2007 to $2.77 in the first quarter of 2008, Northwest announced that an additional 15 to 20 aircraft would be removed from its fleet by the end of 2009. The grounded aircraft included ten or so DC-9s, with the balance of the 15 to 20 being a mix of 10 757s and 4 A320s.
|B787 FUTURE OF NWA|