Northwest Completes Airbus Debut

Northwest Airlines today completed its first scheduled flight between Detroit and Amsterdam of its new Airbus 330-300 wide-body aircraft.
Flight 54 left Detroit at 7:09 p.m. EDT yesterday (Monday) and arrived in Amsterdam today at 9:35 a.m. local time, carrying 297 passengers. The aircraft left Amsterdam for Detroit today as flight 53 at 2:50 p.m. local time.
While Northwest has taken delivery of 193 new mainline airplanes since 1989, the A330 is the first entirely new aircraft type to join Northwest`s fleet in 14 years. The A330 also marks the debut of new seats in Northwest`s World Business Class and coach class cabins, as well as a new in-flight entertainment system and an updated World Business Class meal service. The aircraft can carry 298 customers, 34 in World Business Class and 264 in the coach cabin.
“Our new A330-300 is a winner for both customers and investors alike,” said Richard Anderson, chief executive officer. “The new wide-body jetliner allows us to offer the comforts and amenities necessary to compete for today`s savvy international traveler, and as importantly, enables Northwest to continue controlling costs through greatly reduced operating expenses.”
The aircraft`s new lie-flat World Business Class seat allows passengers to recline to 176 degrees, offering more degrees of recline than what is available on any other U.S. airline and many international carriers. Unlike other airlines, whose seats require travelers to conform to one of a few pre-set positions, Northwest`s new World Business Class seat offers passengers a virtually infinite number of adjustments so that the seat is able to conform to the position that is most comfortable for the individual passenger. The seat also offers a leather-wrapped privacy canopy and a 110-volt personal computer power port in every seat, eliminating the need for cumbersome converters or multiple rechargeable batteries.
The aircraft also introduces Northwest`s new, fully interactive in-flight entertainment system, offering both World Business Class and coach customers a wide variety of music, movies, short subject programs, games, shopping, and in-flight information, all “on demand.” The new system permits customers the freedom and flexibility to start, pause, or stop any of these options at any time. World Business Class seats have a 10.4 inch video screen, which is 50 percent larger than the screens found in business class seats on other U.S. airlines and many international airlines. Coach seats have an individual 6.5” screen.
Enhancements to Northwest`s World Business Class meal service also make their debut on the A330. Assorted cold appetizers will now be served during the pre-meal service instead of mixed nuts and they will be followed with a large salad with seasonal greens and gourmet topping, along with quality breads and a choice of dressing. Three entrees will be available. Desserts also have been changed and customers will now be able to select cheese, fruit or ice cream.
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. Powers 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. 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