DES MOINES, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 7, 2007--Mesaba Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA), today announced that the regional carrier will construct an aircraft maintenance facility at Des Moines International Airport.
The $11.8 million maintenance facility will include four aircraft bays and handle scheduled maintenance for the carrier's fleet of 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 and new 76-seat CRJ900 aircraft. Mesaba expects the Des Moines maintenance facility to be completed by the third quarter of 2008 and it will add more than 30 jobs to the local economy.
"Today's announcement means a great deal to the employees of Mesaba Airlines," said John Spanjers, Mesaba president. "In recent months, the airline has worked hard to position itself for a successful future and the addition of the CRJ900 and the new Des Moines maintenance facility helps to secure this success. Mesaba and Northwest Airlines are pleased for the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the people of Des Moines and the state of Iowa."
Several locations were considered for the facility, but the Northwest Airlink carrier's Des Moines flight schedule, combined with the city's proximity to Mesaba's Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit and Memphis hubs and the airport infrastructure already in place, made Des Moines the ideal location for Mesaba to perform its scheduled aircraft maintenance.
"Mesaba would like to thank Craig Smith and his team at the Des Moines International Airport, Mike Swesey and the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mayor Frank Cownie and the City of Des Moines, Gov. Chet Culver and the State of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Economic Development who were all instrumental in making today's announcement a reality," said Spanjers. "Mesaba would also like to thank Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) for their continued support."
Construction on the new facility is expected to begin later this year.
"We very much appreciate the confidence being shown in the Des Moines community. We look forward to helping Northwest continue to grow its Midwest operations and are proud to be the home of Mesaba's new maintenance facility," says Des Moines International Airport Aviation Director Craig Smith.
"Mesaba's new Des Moines maintenance facility builds on Northwest's long-standing relationship with the city of Des Moines and the state of Iowa," said Neal Cohen, Mesaba chairman and Northwest Airlines chief executive officer - regional airlines. "Northwest is pleased that Des Moines will become the home of the maintenance facility for Mesaba's fleet of CRJ200 and new CRJ900 fleet."
Mesaba took delivery of its first Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet aircraft earlier this year and will have a fleet of 36 CRJ900 aircraft by the end of 2008. The CRJ900 offers dual-class service with 12 seats in first class and 64 seats in coach class. The interior of Mesaba's CRJ900 aircraft have been modified from the standard CRJ900 platform and feature leather seats, larger overhead compartments to accommodate more carry-on luggage, larger windows offering enhanced passenger views, light emitting diode (LED) lighting throughout the cabin, a new sidewall and ceiling panel design, and additional headroom throughout the aircraft.
Northwest and its Northwest Airlink partner airlines currently provide nonstop service to four destinations from Des Moines, including Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Washington, DC.
Mesaba, which becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary, operates a fleet of 50 regional aircraft under the Northwest Airlink banner.
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The CRJ900s will be the biggest planes in Mesaba's fleet, which also consists of 49 34-seat Saab turboprops and one 50-seat CRJ.