Northwest Airlines Orders Additional Airbus A330 Aircraft

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ:NWAC) today announced that it has ordered eight additional Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft.

The additional A330s will fly international routes and will replace, on a one-for-one basis, DC10-30 aircraft in Northwest’s fleet beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2007. With these additional A330 aircraft, Northwest will be able to replace the DC10-30 on all trans-Atlantic routes operated by Northwest.

The order includes six of the -300 series, configured with 34 seats in Northwest’s new World Business Class and 264 seats in coach class, and two of the longer-range -200 series aircraft, with 32 seats in World Business Class and 211 seats in coach class. The aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4168A engines, the engines on Northwest’s existing A330 fleet.

As part of the transaction, Northwest has obtained firm financing commitments from the manufacturers, offering Northwest flexibility in future financing alternatives. The purchase price of the aircraft was not disclosed.

All of Northwest’s A330 aircraft are equipped with the airline’s lie-flat World Business Class seats, which offer 176 degrees of recline, more degrees of recline than any other U.S. airline’s competing product, as well as an array of innovative comforts and features. Customers in both cabins of Northwest’s A330 aircraft also enjoy a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, featuring a wide variety of audio and video entertainment, all available on demand.

The A330 also provides Northwest with significant maintenance savings and up to 30 percent in fuel savings over the DC10-30 aircraft it will replace. The A330 possesses a similar flight deck, systems and handling characteristics to Northwest’s Airbus A319/A320 fleet, which also helps contain training expenses for the airline.

Northwest currently operates 15 A330 aircraft, including eight -300s and seven -200s, part of an order of 24 A330s placed by the airline in January of 2001. The remaining nine aircraft from that order will be delivered between 2005 and 2007. As part of the A330 order announced today, the delivery of three aircraft from the order placed in 2001 has been accelerated from 2007- 2008 to 2006. Northwest’s first A330 went into service in August 2003.

Northwest Airlines is the world’s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo, and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. Northwest is a member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance partnership with Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Korean Air. SkyTeam offers customers one of the world’s most extensive global networks. Northwest and its travel partners serve more than 900 cities in more than 160 countries on six continents.

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