We recently wrote on the subject of Northwest’s aircraft purchase. We are pleased to announce that Northwest has begun its order with 72 jets.
Northwest has ordered 36 Embraer 175s to be flown by their new subsidiary, Compass Airlines as well as an additional order for 36 Bombardier CRJ-900 jets to be flown by a partner to be determined later. Both hold 76 passengers in a two-class configuration.
With their desire to eliminate their aging fleet of 100-seater DC9s, the partial Embraer order could allow them to have the pilots trained on the 175s to operate future orders of 100-seater Embraer 190s or 195s.
Ultimately, in addition to allowing Northwest to reposition itself in markets with either the DC9s or their 50-seater CRJs, it will in the short term allow them to phase out their 69-seat Avro RJ85s, currently operated by Mesaba, which is in serious trouble anyway.
Northwest Airlines has been suffering bankruptcy pains, as have its employees, who have had paycuts rammed down their throats. However, even with that, and the costs of changing its fleet…eliminating dated aircraft and altering their ability to provide regional service will ultimately assist them in their bankruptcy exit. We look forward to hearing of their DC9 replacement program…although for nostalgic reasons, we are sad to see these aircraft go.