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Northwest Airlink Carrier Compass Airlines Completes First Revenue Flight With New Embraer 175 Aircraft


Compass Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA) operating under the Northwest Airlink banner, today completed its first revenue flight with the new dual-class 76-seat Embraer E-175 regional jet aircraft.

Flight 2036 departed Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) at 7:15 a.m. Central Daylight Time with 76 passengers and a crew of four. Flight 2036 arrived at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield (OMA) at 8:31 a.m. local time.

“Today’s launch of Embraer E-175 service is an extremely proud day for the employees of Compass Airlines,” said John Bendoraitis, president. “The E-175 provides Northwest customers with best-in-class comfort. We look forward to continuing to expand our operation and introducing this state-of-the-art aircraft to customers throughout the Heartland of the U.S.”

The E-175 offers dual-class service with 12 seats in first class and 64 seats in coach class. The first class seats, arranged in a one seat-aisle-two seat configuration, offer 36 inches of pitch, or space between rows. Coach class, arranged in a two seat-aisle-two seat configuration, provides pitch comparable to other aircraft in Northwest’s current mainline fleet.

The E-175 is designed to provide customers with best-in-class comfort, including leather seating with adjustable headrests, and more room throughout the cabin than traditional regional jets. The aircraft features 6’ 7” of headroom in the aisle and increased shoulder room when seated. Sidewall-mounted seats are designed to maximize under-seat space, improving passenger comfort and stowage capacity, and overhead compartments offer more storage compared to traditional regional jets and can accommodate 24” x 16” x 10” roll-on bags.

Compass today introduced its first two E-175 aircraft into revenue service. In addition to serving the MSP-OMA route, the first two aircraft will serve Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Missoula, Mont. (MSO) and Nashville, Tenn. (BNA) from Minneapolis/St. Paul. Compass anticipates operating a fleet of 10 E-175 aircraft by the end of 2007 and a fleet of 36 by the end of 2008.

“Today’s introduction of Embraer E-175 service marks another important milestone for the employees of Compass and Northwest Airlines,” said Neal Cohen, Compass chairman and Northwest chief executive officer – regional airlines. “Introduction of the 76-seat E-175 is a continuation of Northwest’s effort to enhance its regional jet offering, joining Northwest Airlink partner Mesaba Airlines’ new 76-seat CRJ900 in providing customers best-in-class comfort.”


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