Mesaba to boost Des Moines facilities

Mesaba Airlines has
announced that it will construct an aircraft
maintenance facility at Des Moines International Airport.The $11.8 million maintenance facility will include four aircraft
bays and handle scheduled maintenance for the carrier’s fleet of
50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 and new 76-seat CRJ900 aircraft. Mesaba
expects the Des Moines maintenance facility to be completed by the
third quarter of 2008 and it will add more than 30 jobs to the local

  “Today’s announcement means a great deal to the employees of
Mesaba Airlines,” said John Spanjers, Mesaba president. “In recent
months, the airline has worked hard to position itself for a
successful future and the addition of the CRJ900 and the new Des
Moines maintenance facility helps to secure this success. Mesaba and
Northwest Airlines are pleased for the opportunity to strengthen the
relationship with the people of Des Moines and the state of Iowa.”

  Several locations were considered for the facility, but the
Northwest Airlink carrier’s Des Moines flight schedule, combined with
the city’s proximity to Mesaba’s Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit and
Memphis hubs and the airport infrastructure already in place, made Des
Moines the ideal location for Mesaba to perform its scheduled aircraft

  “Mesaba would like to thank Craig Smith and his team at the Des
Moines International Airport, Mike Swesey and the Greater Des Moines
Partnership, Mayor Frank Cownie and the City of Des Moines, Gov. Chet
Culver and the State of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Economic
Development who were all instrumental in making today’s announcement a
reality,” said Spanjers. “Mesaba would also like to thank Senator
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Congressman
Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) for their continued support.”

  Construction on the new facility is expected to begin later this


  “We very much appreciate the confidence being shown in the Des
Moines community. We look forward to helping Northwest continue to
grow its Midwest operations and are proud to be the home of Mesaba’s
new maintenance facility,” says Des Moines International Airport
Aviation Director Craig Smith.

  “Mesaba’s new Des Moines maintenance facility builds on
Northwest’s long-standing relationship with the city of Des Moines and
the state of Iowa,” said Neal Cohen, Mesaba chairman and Northwest
Airlines chief executive officer - regional airlines. “Northwest is
pleased that Des Moines will become the home of the maintenance
facility for Mesaba’s fleet of CRJ200 and new CRJ900 fleet.”

  Mesaba took delivery of its first Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet
aircraft earlier this year and will have a fleet of 36 CRJ900 aircraft
by the end of 2008. The CRJ900 offers dual-class service with 12 seats
in first class and 64 seats in coach class. The interior of Mesaba’s
CRJ900 aircraft have been modified from the standard CRJ900 platform
and feature leather seats, larger overhead compartments to accommodate
more carry-on luggage, larger windows offering enhanced passenger
views, light emitting diode (LED) lighting throughout the cabin, a new
sidewall and ceiling panel design, and additional headroom throughout
the aircraft.

  Northwest and its Northwest Airlink partner airlines currently
provide nonstop service to four destinations from Des Moines,
including Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Washington, DC.

  Northwest and its Northwest Airlink partners serve seven
communities throughout Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort
Dodge, Mason City, the Quad Cities, Sioux City and Waterloo.

  In April, Northwest Airlines also announced a new 300-person
reservations call center that will open in Sioux City later this year.