Compass offshoot begins commercial flights

Compass Airlines, operating
under the Northwest Airlink banner, has completed its first revenue
flight with the new dual-class 76-seat Embraer E-175 regional jet
aircraft.Flight 2036 departed Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
(MSP) at 7:15 a.m. Central Daylight Time with 76 passengers and a crew
of four. Flight 2036 arrived at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield (OMA) at 8:31
a.m. local time.

  “Today’s launch of Embraer E-175 service is an extremely proud day
for the employees of Compass Airlines,” said John Bendoraitis,
president. “The E-175 provides Northwest customers with best-in-class
comfort. We look forward to continuing to expand our operation and
introducing this state-of-the-art aircraft to customers throughout the
Heartland of the U.S.”

  The E-175 offers dual-class service with 12 seats in first class
and 64 seats in coach class. The first class seats, arranged in a one
seat-aisle-two seat configuration, offer 36 inches of pitch, or space
between rows. Coach class, arranged in a two seat-aisle-two seat
configuration, provides pitch comparable to other aircraft in
Northwest’s current mainline fleet.

  The E-175 is designed to provide customers with best-in-class
comfort, including leather seating with adjustable headrests, and more
room throughout the cabin than traditional regional jets. The aircraft
features 6’ 7” of headroom in the aisle and increased shoulder room
when seated. Sidewall-mounted seats are designed to maximize
under-seat space, improving passenger comfort and stowage capacity,
and overhead compartments offer more storage compared to traditional
regional jets and can accommodate 24” x 16” x 10” roll-on bags.

  Compass today introduced its first two E-175 aircraft into revenue
service. In addition to serving the MSP-OMA route, the first two
aircraft will serve Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Missoula, Mont. (MSO) and
Nashville, Tenn. (BNA) from Minneapolis/St. Paul. Compass anticipates
operating a fleet of 10 E-175 aircraft by the end of 2007 and a fleet
of 36 by the end of 2008.


  “Today’s introduction of Embraer E-175 service marks another
important milestone for the employees of Compass and Northwest
Airlines,” said Neal Cohen, Compass chairman and Northwest chief
executive officer - regional airlines. “Introduction of the 76-seat
E-175 is a continuation of Northwest’s effort to enhance its regional
jet offering, joining Northwest Airlink partner Mesaba Airlines’ new
76-seat CRJ900 in providing customers best-in-class comfort.”