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29/10/2008 – Northwest & Delta Are One Airline……well sort of…….
I guess this is goodbye to an old friend. A few times this year I have written about the merger of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Like many flyers, as I have mentioned before, I have had a love-hate relationship with Northwest Airlines.
I grew up next to JFK Airport, in New York, and as a kid I flew from the ‘old Terminal 2’, which was home to both Delta and Northwest. I have fond memories of watching DC-10s carrying the Northwest Orient logo flying over my house. I have memories of standing on the beach watching the cross-painted Northwest/KLM DC-10 flying low over Far Rockaway, crossing over the small patch of Atlantic Beach and disappearing over the horizon headed for Amsterdam.
Back in early May I wrote about touching down at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport, and the feeling of flying Northwest Airlines for my last trans-Atlantic flight with the carrier. Looking out the window of seat 1A, watching the red-winglets of the 757-200 touch down, returning home from Amsterdam, would be the last international Northwest flight for me.
I have some funny stories about flying Northwest, some annoying stories about Northwest, some happy memories from Northwest.
…………..anyway, onto the real point of this post. Today the United States Justice Department approved the merger of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. A few hours after the merger was approved by the Justice Department, Delta Airlines completed its purchase of Northwest Airlines. Given that Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines have minimal overlapping routes there was minimal objection to the marriage of the two carriers. The newly combined airline will operate nearly 800 aircraft generate an estimated US$35bil in annual revenue and employ approximately 75,000 people.
Over the next year the two airlines will gradually merge their two websites and frequent flyer programs. Until the bumps-in-the-road are worked out, the two airlines will maintain separate web sites and frequent flyer programs. Northwest Airlines’ cabin crews will switch to Delta Airline uniforms on the 30th of March.
Northwest’s unique partnership with KLM is somewhat unknown.
So, now we sit back and wait and see what happens. It will be exciting to see the first 747-400 rollout with Delta colours……..however I will miss watching the big silver birds with their red tails flying out over the horizon.
Below is a photo of a Northwest Airlines 757-200 flying off into the distance from SFO.