NWA Turns Up the Heat

Northwest Airlines is within days of asking the judge overseeing its bankruptcy reorganization to impose new contracts on most of its unions.

In response, Northwest matched a rival carrier's fare increase over the weekend. It has announced a 10 percent reduction in domestic flying this quarter. And it's weighing a hike in fuel surcharges on international flights.

Yet on Wednesday, Northwest was advertising "everyday low fares" on several routes out of the Twin Cities on which it faces low-fare rivals.

For instance, Northwest was touting $59 flights (each way) between the Twin Cities and Chicago and $107 flights (each way) between the Twin Cities and San Francisco.

The newspaper ads ran to "make travelers aware of the fact Northwest offers fares that are competitive with those offered by the low-cost carriers serving the Twin Cities," said airline spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.

The number of seats Northwest offers at the low fares is limited, he noted.

Martin J. Moylan covers airlines and can be reached at mmoylan@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5479.

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