Northwest to Accelerate Retirement of DC10 Aircraft

MINNEAPOLIS, June 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northwest Airlines today announced that it will accelerate the retirement of its remaining 12 DC10-30 aircraft in service. The airline said that during the next seven months, it will replace DC10 aircraft with new Airbus A330s and Boeing 747-400 aircraft being returned to service. Currently, seven routes are served with the DC10.

"The retirement of the DC10 is another milestone in the transformation of Northwest," said Phil Haan, executive vice president of international, alliances and information technology and chairman of NWA Cargo. "For our customers, employees and the communities we serve, this clearly shows that the Northwest of the future is about becoming a more cost-efficient airline operating aircraft that provides greater comfort for travelers."

Northwest-Operated Trans-Atlantic Flights To Be All-A330 Starting Oct. 31

While most of Northwest's trans-Atlantic flights already offer A330 service, during the next four months, the airline's Memphis, Tenn. - Amsterdam (Oct. 29), Minneapolis/St. Paul - London ( Oct. 29) and Amsterdam - Mumbai, India service (Oct. 1 ) will transition to A330 service. Also this fall, the airline's entire Minneapolis/St. Paul - Amsterdam schedule, which currently is operated with both the A330 and the DC10, will be operated with the A330 (Oct. 29).

As of Oct. 31, 2006, the airline's entire trans-Atlantic schedule will be operated with the A330, which offers travelers comforts and amenities unmatched by any other U.S. airline and many international competitors.

"The conversion to an all A330 fleet across the Atlantic also will enhance the Northwest-KLM joint venture (JV) by utilizing larger capacity aircraft on most JV routes," Haan added.

Minneapolis/St. Paul - Honolulu Travelers to Enjoy A330 Beginning Jan. 8.

After retirement from all international service on Oct. 31 , the only remaining DC10 service at Northwest will be on its daily Minneapolis/St. Paul- Honolulu flight. Northwest's A330 will make its domestic debut on Jan. 8, 2007, when it replaces the DC10 on that route, providing a new level of comfort to Hawaii. The transition to the A330 will also mark the official retirement of the DC10 from scheduled service at Northwest.

A330 More Efficient, Quieter Aircraft than DC10

The A330 provides Northwest with up to 30 percent in fuel savings, lower maintenance costs, and is a much quieter aircraft, than the DC10-30 it replaces. As an example, on the Minneapolis/St. Paul - Amsterdam route, the A330 will carry 25 more passengers, yet consume 6,100 fewer gallons (23,090 liters) of fuel each way, than the DC10.

A330 Provides Travelers with Better Seats, In-Flight Entertainment System

Northwest began taking delivery of new Airbus A330 aircraft in August 2003 and currently has 20 aircraft in trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and intra-Asia service. The airline has an additional 12 on order scheduled for delivery between now and the end of 2007.

Northwest's A330s are equipped with the airline's World Business Class lie-flat seats, new seats in coach class, and an in-flight entertainment system in both cabins that Northwest was the first North American airline to offer.

The fully interactive in-flight entertainment system offers a wide variety of music, movies, short subject programs, games, shopping and in-flight information, all "on demand," giving customers the freedom and flexibility to start, pause or stop at any time. The gateway to all of these features is a convenient retractable controller, making it easy to access from any sitting position, as opposed to stationary controllers fixed on armrests.

In World Business Class, Northwest customers are able to view any of these features on a 10.4 inch/26.4 centimeter video screen, 50 percent larger in size than the screens found in business class seats on other U.S. airlines, and a number of international airlines. Northwest customers traveling in coach class are able to view any of these features on a personal video screen in the back of the seat in front of them.

World Business Class travelers enjoy an array of features including a seat that reclines 176 degrees (more recline than other U.S. airline), a leather-wrapped privacy canopy, 60 inches of space between seats, 110-volt personal laptop computer power, cycling lumbar support, a six-way adjustable headrest that slides along a track so it can be adjusted to a traveler's individual height, and four seat-back storage pockets.

Northwest's A330s also feature a completely new coach class seat, offered in a two-seat, aisle, four-seat, aisle, two-seat configuration throughout much of the aircraft. As a result, no seat is more than one seat away from an aisle. The new coach seat features a "winged" headrest, with bendable sides, allowing the customer to rest their head or sleep toward the side of the seat.

Boeing 747-400 to Operate more Asia/Pacific Routes

Northwest's plan, at this time, is to replace DC10s currently in Asia/Pacific service with three Boeing 747-400s being returned to service. The modern Boeing 747-400 will replace DC10s currently flying between Tokyo and Honolulu on July 9 and between Osaka, Japan and Honolulu by Oct. 1 .

In World Business Class, Northwest's Boeing 747-400 features the same seat and in-flight entertainment system as the A330.

DC10 History at Northwest Airlines

Northwest began operating the DC10 in 1972, when the first aircraft from an order placed in 1968 for new 22 aircraft arrived. The airline was one of a small number of carriers to fly the DC10-40 version, providing it with a competitive advantage in range, operational costs and engine commonality with the Pratt and Whitney engine-powered Boeing 747s in its fleet at the time. The first route for the 236-passenger aircraft was flight 72 from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee to Tampa, Fla.

In 1989, Northwest began acquiring the 273-seat DC10-30, primarily for trans-Atlantic service. Northwest's DC10 fleet peaked in size at 45 aircraft in 2001, consisting of 21 DC10-40s and 24 DC10-30s. It retired the last of its DC10-40s in late 2002. The airline's remaining 12 DC10 aircraft in service are all from the -30 series, including five of the last six to bebuilt at the then McDonnell Douglas Long Beach, Calif., production facility.

The last scheduled DC10 flight for Northwest Airlines will be flight 98, currently scheduled to depart Honolulu at 6:25 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2007, and arrive in the Twin Cities at 6:03 a.m. on Jan. 8 .

Northwest Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,200 daily departures. Northwest is a member of SkyTeam, an airline alliance that offers customers one of the world's most extensive global networks. Northwest and its travel partners serve more than 900 cities in excess of 160 countries on six continents.

SOURCE Northwest Airlines


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