NewCo would be a Northwest Airlink partner, as Mesaba and Pinnacle airlines are today, not a low-cost "airline within an airline." NewCo will operate some of the routes currently flown by Pinnacle and Mesaba. But Northwest indicated it would continue to work with the Mesaba and Pinnacle regional airlines on routes served by planes with fewer than 70 seats.
Northwest has its eyes on big regional jets such as the Embraer 170/190 and Bombardier CRJ700/900. Low-fare carrier JetBlue has firm orders for 100 100-seat Embraer 190s, with deliveries starting this year.
Northwest is planning on buying 60 70-seaters and 45 100-seaters.
Many of the 70-seat jets would replace 69-seat Avros, which have been flown by Mesaba not Northwest pilots. Others would replace 50-seat regional jets that have been flown for Northwest by Memphis-based Pinnacle.
Nineteen 100-seaters would replace 100-seat DC9-30s, some of which are about 30 years old. The other 100-seaters would be brought on to accommodate growth in target markets.
What is Northwest doing with its unwanted planes?
Well, the bankruptcy court has authorized it to reject or renegotiate leases on more than 200 planes. It won't say how many it has returned to leasing firms.
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Arguing for a smaller fleet to reach small and midsize markets, NWA meets resistance on its NewCo Airline plan.
Bankrupt Northwest Airlines intends to terminate the lease of 35 Avro jets to its regional carrier Mesaba Airlines by Dec. 20.
A lack of a labor deal between Pinnacle and its pilots means Northwest has the right to take away regional jets.