Northwest welcomes antitrust decision

Northwest Airlines
welcomes today’s U.S. Department of Transportation’s scheduling order
establishing a timeline for consideration of Northwest’s application
for expanded antitrust immunity.Northwest is seeking to expand antitrust immunity with its SkyTeam alliance
partners KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Delta Air Lines,
Alitalia and CSA Czech Airlines.

  The Northwest/KLM joint venture is the cornerstone of Northwest’s
trans-Atlantic business. The 2004 merger of Air France and KLM creates
a commercial imperative for Northwest to be able to coordinate more
efficiently with these trans-Atlantic partners to optimize service for
its customers and enhance competition against rival alliances.

  Northwest anticipates that expanded SkyTeam ATI will enable more
trans-Atlantic service from key hubs including Detroit,
Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Memphis. Andrea Fischer Newman, Northwest
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs said, “We are very pleased
DOT has set down a timeline for a decision. We are confident DOT will
act expeditiously on the application, so that carriers can take full
advantage of the new open skies agreement between the United States
and European Union as soon as it goes into effect next spring.”