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17/12/2008 – Delta Airlines 747-400 Takes To The Sky : The First Sign Of The Delta – Northwest Merger
Anyone who follows business, global business, the airline industry, or who simply flies somewhat often, has most certainly heard of the Delta Airlines merger with Northwest Airlines. The combination of these two airlines, which will retain the Delta name, is creating the world’s largest airline.
Mergers of airlines are a long process. Integrating crews, reservations systems, fleets, etc, can be a long complex process. In an effort to speed up the visual presence of the Delta/Northwest merger, the combined airline unveiled the first Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400 to be repainted in the Delta Airlines colours.
The ‘new’ Delta 747-400 rolled out of the hanger on the 12th of December in Victorville, CA (VCV). A day after the aircraft rolled out, the 747-400 (#6305) taxied out to Runway 17/35, lined up and used its new FAA radio call sign for the first time. The aircraft was no longer “Northwest Flight 9868,” it was now “Northwest in Delta Colours Flight #9868.”
At 2:52pm PST, on the 13th of December, the first Delta Airlines 747 went wheels up for the first time in 32 year. A few hours later, at 11:03pm EST “Northwest in Delta Colours Flight #9868” landed safely at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)
So for the doubters who have been secretly (and publicly) hoping the merger would somehow be split up, even after it was approved, and stock was transferred between the airlines, here is your wake up call that the merge is fully underway.
From now on, into the foreseeable future, as aircraft are repainted, the call sign ‘Northwest’ will become ‘Northwest in Delta Colours.’
Below are some images of the new Delta 747-400 paint scheme. Photos are courtesy of Delta Airlines.
–Click Images Below To Enlarge Them–