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Delta and Midwest expand tie-up

Delta and Midwest Airlines have signed a multi-faceted alliance agreement that will include reciprocity between the two airlines’ frequent flyer programs, new joint marketing efforts and expanded access to airport lounges throughout North America.The agreement extends Midwest’s long-standing marketing agreement with Northwest Airlines to the new Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last year. Under the new agreement, Midwest and Delta frequent flyers will be able to earn or redeem frequent flyer miles on either airline’s network through the Delta SkyMiles, Northwest WorldPerks and Midwest Miles programs. The addition of Delta’s route system to the previously available Northwest network increases to 379 the number of frequent flyer destinations available to Midwest customers.

It is expected that the new codeshare arrangement will go into effect in June 2009, while the frequent flyer portion of the agreement will go into effect later this year.

As part of the agreement, both airlines have agreed to engage in expanded marketing and advertising campaigns to promote the new alliance with their frequent flyers. It will also expand the existing Midwest-Northwest airport club membership agreement to include Delta Sky Clubs in the near future.

“Expanding our alliance relationships to include Midwest Airlines is another customer benefit created by Delta’s merger with Northwest Airlines,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Delta and Midwest make natural alliance partners given both airlines’ focus on delivering excellent service and a quality product. Midwest customers are known as some of the most loyal in the industry and we look forward to welcoming them and earning their trust onboard Delta flights from Milwaukee to Madrid to Manila.”

Midwest’s existing codeshare agreement with Northwest Airlines will be phased out and replaced with the new Delta agreement. Both Delta and Northwest will be using the Midwest code on flights they operate on mutually agreed flights and city pairs. The Delta and Northwest codes will not be available for use by Midwest on the flights it operates.