NW Posts $1.1 Billion Quarterly Loss

Northwest Airlines Corp. posted a net loss of $1.1 billion during the first quarter of 2006, compared with a net loss of $537 million in the first quarter of 2005. The airline is operating under U.S. bankruptcy court protection. Despite the loss, Doug Steenland, the airline's president and CEO, said Northwest is making progress on restructuring. He cited tentative agreements with the airline's three largest unions. Last week, Northwest's pilots ratified their contract, bringing the airline closer to its goal of $1.4 billion in annual labor cost savings. The airline is also resizing its fleet, and since entering bankruptcy last September has either rejected or entered into new, more favorable lease or debt arrangements for 211 aircraft. It is also expanding regional flying to include 76-seat aircraft and also increasing international service. During the first quarter, Northwest re-established its daily nonstop Minneapolis/St.Paul service to London, restored flights between its Detroit hub and Paris from five times per week to daily service, and resumed a third daily flight between MSP and Amsterdam. Northwest also plans to increase its service during the summer months to its Tokyo hub from both Seattle and MSP, replacing daily service with eight flights per week.

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