Northwest Airlines today
announced that it has ordered eight additional Airbus A330 wide-body
aircraft. The additional A330s will fly international routes and will replace, on a
one-for-one basis, DC10-30 aircraft in Northwest’s fleet beginning in 2006
and continuing through 2007. With these additional A330 aircraft,
Northwest will be able to replace the DC10-30 on all trans-Atlantic routes
operated by Northwest.
The order includes six of the -300 series, configured with 34 seats in
Northwest’s new World Business Class and 264 seats in coach class, and two
of the longer-range -200 series aircraft, with 32 seats in World Business
Class and 211 seats in coach class. The aircraft will be powered by Pratt
& Whitney PW4168A engines, the engines on Northwest’s existing A330 fleet.
As part of the transaction, Northwest has obtained firm financing
commitments from the manufacturers, offering Northwest flexibility in
future financing alternatives. The purchase price of the aircraft was not
All of Northwest’s A330 aircraft are equipped with the airline’s lie-flat
World Business Class seats, which offer 176 degrees of recline, more
degrees of recline than any other U.S. airline’s competing product, as
well as an array of innovative comforts and features. Customers in both
cabins of Northwest’s A330 aircraft also enjoy a state-of-the-art
in-flight entertainment system, featuring a wide variety of audio and
video entertainment, all available on demand.
The A330 also provides Northwest with significant maintenance savings and
up to 30 percent in fuel savings over the DC10-30 aircraft it will
replace. The A330 possesses a similar flight deck, systems and handling
characteristics to Northwest’s Airbus A319/A320 fleet, which also helps
contain training expenses for the airline.
Northwest currently operates 15 A330 aircraft, including eight -300s and
seven -200s, part of an order of 24 A330s placed by the airline in January
of 2001. The remaining nine aircraft from that order will be delivered
between 2005 and 2007. As part of the A330 order announced today, the
delivery of three aircraft from the order placed in 2001 has been
accelerated from 2007- 2008 to 2006. Northwest’s first A330 went into
service in August 2003.