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DETROIT å- (December 16, 2002) å- Michiganå‘s two U.S. senators are urging federal authorities to complete the review of a proposal they say would benefit the stateå‘s air travelers.

Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ: NWAC), Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) have signed a cooperative marketing agreement that will offer travelers a broad network connecting hundreds of cities and will make traveling on two or more carriers a seamless experience. Airlines have been relying upon cooperative marketing agreements to meet consumer demand for more than a decade.

“The proposed agreement, which involves domestic and international flight code sharing and frequent flier and airport lounge reciprocity, would be welcome news for Michigan travelers,” wrote Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow, (D-Mich.) in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. “Your office approved a similar proposal by United Airlines and US Airways as recently as October 2, 2002.”

The Continental/Delta/Northwest marketing agreement, which is under review by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is a response to the current challenges facing the aviation industry. The agreement will allow the three airlines to increase revenues without increasing costs, and at the same time preserve competition among the airlines. The agreement does not involve cross ownership, merger or consolidation, and there will be no pooling or sharing of revenues. A participating carrier will earn revenues only from passengers flying on its airplanes.

“Northwest, Continental and Delta are eager to implement the proposed agreement, and we hope that the review currently under way…is completed in a timely manner,” the senators wrote to Mineta.


Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents. In 2002, consumers from throughout the world recognized Northwest’s efforts to make travel easier. A 2002 J.D. Power and Associates study ranked airports at Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, home to Northwest’s two largest hubs, tied for second place among large domestic airports in overall customer satisfaction. Business travelers who subscribe to OAG print and electronic flight guides rated as the best airline Web site. Readers of TTG Asia and TTG China named Northwest “Best North American airline.”

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