Northwest Airlines

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Northwest Airlines, Inc. (often abbreviated NWA), was a major United States[1] airline headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Northwest had three major hubs in the United States: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, and Memphis International Airport. Northwest also operated flights from its Asian hub at Narita International Airport (Tokyo). Transatlantic flights were operated from its European hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in cooperation with its partner airline KLM.

As of 2006, Northwest was the world's sixth largest airline in terms of domestic and international scheduled passenger miles flown and the U.S.'s sixth largest airline in terms of domestic passenger miles flown.[2] In addition to operating one of the largest domestic route networks in the U.S., Northwest carried more passengers across the Pacific Ocean (5.1 million in 2004) than any other U.S. carrier, and carried more domestic air cargo than any other American passenger airline.[3] It was the only U.S. combination carrier (passenger and cargo service) operating dedicated Boeing 747 freighters. The airline, along with its then-parent company, Northwest Airlines Corporation and subsidiaries, operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection which, in the United States, allows continued operation during the reorganization effort, not cessation of flights as in the case in some countries. Northwest emerged from bankruptcy protection on May 31, 2007.

Northwest Airlines' regional flights were operated under the name Northwest Airlink by Mesaba Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines, and Compass Airlines. Northwest Airlines was a minority owner of Midwest Airlines, holding a 40% stake in the company.[4] Its frequent flyer program was called WorldPerks, which was merged into Delta's frequent flyer program, SkyMiles on October 1, 2009, following the merger. Northwest Airlines' tagline was "Now you're flying smart."

On April 14, 2008, Northwest announced it would merge with Delta Air Lines on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world.[5] Northwest continued to operate as an independent carrier (as a Delta Air Lines subsidiary) for several months until the operating certificates and other factors were combined.

In February 2009, the airline began consolidating gates and ticket counters at airports served simultaneously by both Delta and Northwest. The rebranding included the changing of Northwest signs to Delta signs. The integration continued into early 2010.[6] The airline's hubs in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Memphis were rebranded on March 31, 2009.[7][8][9] The Tokyo hub was rebranded on August 24, 2009.[10] In October 2009, the airline's operations center was relocated to Delta's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

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