Minneapolis (August 23, 2002) å- Northwest Airlines Corporation (NASDAQ: NWAC) today announced that Northwest Airlines, Inc., Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) have signed a cooperative marketing agreement.
The agreement, when fully implemented, will connect the three carriers` domestic and international networks, and include code sharing, frequent flyer program reciprocity, and a reciprocal airport lounge program.
As a result of the pact, the three airlines will offer travelers a broad network connecting hundreds of cities. Ease of ticketing, check-in, and luggage handling will make travel on two or more of the carriers a seamless experience.
Northwest said it, Continental and Delta will engage in discussions with their respective European carrier partners regarding trans-Atlantic cooperation and inclusion in the SkyTeam Alliance.
The three airlines have no plans to merge their operations and will retain separate boards, management and headquarters. No layoffs, mergers of workforces, transfers of flying, assets, or closures of facilities are planned as a result of the proposed agreement. The three carriers will remain competitors.
“The board and management team at Northwest believe the agreement among Northwest, Delta and Continental will benefit the three airlines business and leisure customers by providing one of the most convenient route networks in the world,” said Richard Anderson, chief executive officer.
“Northwest’s domestic route system, particularly in the Midwest, teamed with its impressive service to Asia will be a big plus for Delta travelers. This agreement builds on the very successful alliance between Northwest and Continental that has allowed domestic and international travelers of both airlines to enjoy seamless and convenient travel on the other partner for the past four years.”
Doug Steenland, president, said, “Delta’s extensive route system in the South and Southeast along with its strong presence in the Northeast corridor and in Latin America will be of great benefit to Northwest Airlines travelers.
“This agreement is a plus for business travelers who demand schedule convenience. Travelers using the three airlines can optimize connectivity to achieve a broader choice of departure times, routings and alternate airports.”
“Leisure travelers benefit from the proposed agreement as well, since they continue to get competitive fares. Customers also benefit when accruing and redeeming frequent flyer mileage and program awards because of a broader range of global destinations,” Steenland added.
The three airlines bring a geographically convenient hub and spoke network to the alliance that will result in travel efficiencies previously unavailable for domestic and international travelers alike. The three carriers also will offer greater non-stop service to Asian destinations as well as increased East to West Coast service.
The airlines said they will shortly submit the marketing agreement to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for its review. In addition, the proposed agreement will require the approval of Northwest pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA).
Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam and more than 1,700 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents.
For more information pertaining to Northwest, media inquiries can be directed to Northwest Media Relations at (612) 726-2331 or to Northwest’s Web site at www.nwa.com.