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Northwest backed for Skyteam expansion

Northwest Airlines is pleased with the showing of support for its
expanded SkyTeam transatlantic alliance.Pleadings yesterday were
filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation by civic
organizations from six major U.S. gateways and three labor
organizations representing Northwest employees.

  A resounding theme was that antitrust immunity for Northwest’s
expanded alliance with Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air
Lines, Alitalia, and CSA Czech Airlines would result in better
transatlantic service for communities and enhanced career
opportunities for employees. Supporting answers were filed by
organizations representing Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Memphis,
Atlanta, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, as well as the Northwest chapters
of the Air Line Pilots Association, Association of Flight
Attendants-CWA, and the International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers.

  Doug Steenland, Northwest’s president and CEO said, “It is time
for the DOT to approve this application and enable airlines,
consumers, and communities to share in the benefits of the recently
concluded open skies air accord between the United States and the
European Union.”

  The new agreement fully liberalizes transatlantic service and
competition. The United States is committed to giving “fair and
expeditious” consideration to expanded alliance arrangements, such as

  Steenland added, “We would like to see favorable action on our
application by the end of this year, so we can proceed with
implementing our alliance and bring new benefits to our customers.”