Wed, Jun 18, 2008
DC-9 Fleet Will Be Reduced To 61 Aircraft
On Tuesday, Northwest Airlines announced its second cut in
capacity in two months, further building on fleet reductions
announced earlier this year.
The New York Times reports Northwest plans to ground 14 Boeing
757 and Airbus A319 aircraft by the end of this year. The airline
will also ground many of its aged DC-9s... though not as many as
you might think. According to a regulatory filing this week,
Northwest will keep 61 DC-9s in the skies, down from 94 at the
beginning of 2008.
The airline also announced more cuts to its domestic and
international flying, by up to 9.5 percent. That's significantly
higher than the seven percent cutback Northwest announced in
April... and further reinforces the impact high fuel prices are
having on airline operations.
Northwest CEO Doug Steenland reiterated the carrier plans to
achieve the cuts through reduced service frequencies, and not b y
dropping cities from its schedule.
"We expect to accomplish this with fewer frequencies," Steenland
told the paper, adding the rise in fuel costs "is significantly
increasing the cost structure" for airlines. "It puts us and others
in a position where we need to pass through those costs to our
Some jobs will also be cut as a result, though Northwest has yet
to put a firm number on how many.
Though Northwest cites fuel prices -- which have climbed over 83
percent over last year, notes the Air Transport Association -- as
reason for the cutbacks, the streamlining of operations and
grounding of older planes should also better align Northwest for
its proposed merger with Delta Air Lines.
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