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News Release

December 13, 2002

Northwest Airlines and NWA Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Announce Agreement on Marketing Proposal

ST. PAUL, MINN. -- (December 13, 2002) -- Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ: NWAC) and its pilots, represented by the NWA unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), announced today that an agreement has been reached enabling the airline to proceed with its marketing agreement with Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL).

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our pilots that allows our efforts with Delta Air Lines to move forward," said Doug Steenland, president of Northwest Airlines. "Northwest’s marketing agreement with Delta builds on the successful model already in place with Continental Airlines, which has proven to be good for competition, consumers and the employees of both airlines since its launch in 1998."

In August, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and Delta Air Lines announced a cooperative marketing agreement that will connect the three carriers’ domestic and international networks, and include code sharing, frequent flyer program reciprocity and a reciprocal airport lounge program. Under the agreement, the three airlines will offer travelers a broad network connecting hundreds of cities. Ease of ticketing, check-in and luggage handling will make travel on two or more carriers a seamless experience.

"Northwest’s marketing agreement with Delta will benefit our airline, our passengers, NWA pilots, and the pilots and employees of the alliance carriers," said Capt. Mark McClain, Master Executive Chairman of the NWA unit of ALPA. "We were able to achieve an agreement which allows the alliance to proceed and provides necessary job protections and addresses other concerns of Northwest pilots without creating an economic burden on our company."

The marketing agreement, which currently is under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) review, is a response to the current financial challenges facing the aviation industry. The agreement will allow the three airlines to increase revenues, and at the same time, preserve competition among the airlines. The agreement does not involve a merger or consolidation, and there will be no pooling or sharing of revenues. A participating carrier will only earn revenues from passengers flying on its airplanes.

In November, Delta Air Lines confirmed that its ALPA pilot group had approved the proposed marketing agreement.

Northwest Airlines is the world's fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents. In 2002, consumers from throughout the world recognized Northwest’s efforts to make travel easier. A 2002 J.D. Power and Associates study ranked airports at Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, home to Northwest’s two largest hubs, tied for second place among large domestic airports in overall customer satisfaction. Business travelers who subscribe to OAG print and electronic flight guides rated as the best airline Web site. Readers of TTG Asia and TTG China named Northwest "Best North American airline."

ALPA represents 66,000 airline pilots at 43 airlines in the United States and Canada. Its website is located at


For more information on Northwest Airlines, contact Media Relations at 612 726-2331 or consult our award-winning Web site at

For more information on the NWA unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), contact Will Holman at 612 840-7749 or Hal Myers at 717 805-7929.