Northwest Airlines has reached agreements with The Boeing Company and Rolls-Royce that pave the way for the airline to accept delivery of its new-generation Boeing 787 aircraft, beginning in the third quarter of 2008.“The agreements reached with Boeing and Rolls-Royce are key accomplishments in our efforts to modernize and restructure the Northwest fleet as part of an overall plan to position Northwest for the long-term,” said Doug Steenland, Northwest president and chief executive officer.
“Northwest is proud to be the first North American airline to introduce the 787 Dreamliner to travelers, allowing the carrier to provide a comfortable travel environment to passengers while inaugurating new, long-range routes to Asia, among other destinations.”
Northwest announced an order for 18 Boeing 787s, equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, in May 2005 along with options and purchase rights for an additional 50 aircraft. Northwest expects to take delivery of its first 787 in August 2008 and place the aircraft into commercial service in October of that year.
The Northwest restructuring, begun in September of last year, has been focused on a plan to realize $2.5 billion in annual business improvements in order to return the airline to profitability on a sustained basis.
Steenland continued, “The Boeing and Rolls-Royce agreements, along with a recently announced European service expansion and the significant orders for regional jets, are examples of the steady progress we are making in restructuring and optimizing the airline’s fleet and its network.”
Neal Cohen, executive vice president and chief financial officer, added, “We have now completed restructuring contracts on our new Airbus and Boeing aircraft as well as our new and existing regional jet aircraft fleets. With these agreements, as well as numerous other restructurings completed during the Chapter 11 process, Northwest will have competitive aircraft ownership costs going forward, along with the ability to add to its mainline and regional fleet some of the most efficient aircraft in the industry today.”
“Because of our continuing progress in addressing Northwest’s restructuring objectives, we plan to emerge from Chapter 11 protection during the first half of 2007,” Steenland said.
The Boeing and Rolls-Royce agreements are subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.