Northwest gets support for Shanghai route

Northwest Airlines has filed an extensive application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) detailing the important public benefits of the airline’s application for new route authority between the U.S. and China. The application includes exhibits, letters of support and petitions signed by 90,000 individuals, and other documents.

The airline is seeking government approval to provide daily, nonstop service between its WorldGateway at Detroit hub and Shanghai, China.

“Northwest’s Detroit to Shanghai nonstop proposal will establish the largest and most effective China gateway for Eastern U.S. passengers,” Doug Steenland, president and chief executive officer, said in the filing.

The carrier forecasts that the route will benefit 214,000 passengers in the first year of service, including 77,000 local Detroit passengers and 137,000 U.S. connecting passengers at Northwest’s WorldGateway at Detroit. The economic benefits of the new service to the local Detroit economy alone have been forecast at $160 million annually.

Steenland added, “Northwest’s vast array of services from Detroit will benefit more U.S. communities and more U.S.-China passengers than any other applicant.”


Northwest’s Detroit-Shanghai route would serve 86 percent more single connecting cities than the American proposal, 112 percent more connecting cities than United, and 92 percent more connecting cities than the Continental application.

Individual, corporate, government and community support of the Northwest proposal is extensive as more than 90,000 individuals signed letters and petitions that were submitted as a supporting document to the DOT.

“We would like to especially thank Governor Granholm of Michigan and Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota, along with the bi-partisan coalition of 17 legislators in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, for their letters in support of our application,” said Andrea Fischer Newman, senior vice president of government affairs.

Northwest proposes to commence nonstop Detroit to Shanghai service on or about March 25, 2007, using its Boeing 747-400 aircraft with 65 seats in World Business Class and 338 seats in coach class.