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Delta-Northwest Merger Becomes Visible to Customers with Introduction of Combined Domestic Products

Profile Photo By: H L
March 30, 2009

Delta-Northwest Merger Becomes Visible to Customers with Introduction of Combined Domestic Products

Changeover includes employee uniforms, airport signage, and enhanced onboard products and services

Mar 30, 2009

ATLANTA, March 30, 2009 – Seattle-based flight attendant Christie Colegrove, a 25-year Northwest Airlines veteran, will hang up her Northwest uniform today in exchange for a new Delta Air Lines’ (NYSE: DAL) uniform. Colegrove is joining nearly 40,000 flight attendants, pilots, airport lounge representatives, ticket counter and gate agents who today will don Delta uniforms – one of the first outwardly visible signs that the two airlines are now one.

Delta’s $500 million investment to integrate the two airlines takes center stage this week in U.S. hubs – including Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis-St. Paul – with new Delta signage appearing at more than 400 ticket counters, gates and baggage claim areas within the three airports.  Delta has already rebranded 119 airports worldwide. The airline expects to have all domestic airports transformed by year’s end, with all international locations scheduled for completion in 2010. 
 
By the end of next year, nearly 250 pre-merger Northwest mainline aircraft will be painted in Delta’s red, white and blue flagship colors. To date, 33 Northwest-branded aircraft have already been repainted. Also by year’s end, all Delta- and Northwest-operated mainline aircraft will feature similar interiors, including Delta’s standard blue leather seats and carpet.
 
“In just five months, Delta has made significant strides to bring together the best of both airlines for the benefit of our customers, employees and the communities we serve,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “We’re working hard to integrate every aspect of the travel experience – from onboard products, to aircraft exteriors and cabin interiors, to frequent flyer programs – so that all Delta customers worldwide enjoy one best-in-class experience.”

Delta and Northwest made aviation history last October in a merger that created the world’s largest airline with service to 379 destinations in 66 countries, more than 6,000 daily departures and more than 170 million customers served annually. Until now, significant post-merger changes – such as synchronizing flight schedules, aligning route maps, integrating technologies and workgroups – have largely taken place behind the scenes.  

“I’ve been wearing my uniform for 19 years. It was time for a fresh, new look,” said an excited Colegrove. “Delta is moving the industry forward with a great new uniform that shows our professionalism and pride in how we look, act and serve.”

Product and Service Enhancements

Visible product and service improvements happening this week on Delta-Northwest flights throughout the United States include:

  • Expanded First Class food offerings: More meals served on flights 900 miles or greater, as well as a wider variety of snacks on flights over 250 miles. Exclusive entrees created by acclaimed chef Michelle Bernstein will be featured on select flights.

 

  • Expanded Economy Class food offerings: Customers traveling in Economy Class on all Northwest-operated mainline flights of more than 250 miles will enjoy the return of free snacks, as well as the introduction of Delta’s food-for-purchase program, EATS, on flights over 600 miles.

 

  • Expansion of Signature Cocktails by Rande Gerber: Signature cocktails by nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber – including Delta’s Mojitos and Margaritas– will now be available onboard all Northwest-operated flights.

 

  • Consistent uniforms: More than 11,000 pre-merger Northwest flight attendants, SkyClub representatives, gate and ticketing agents join their Delta colleagues in wearing a consistent uniform created by fashion designer Richard Tyler. Some 5,000 pre-merger Northwest pilots also switched to the Delta uniform today.

 

  • Expanded onboard entertainment: Customers flying on Northwest-operated flights see the return of in-flight entertainment to Economy Class in the U.S., including overhead movies on select long-haul flights. Delta’s safety video debuts on all Northwest-operated flights worldwide.

 

  • New in-flight magazine: A refreshed Sky magazine debuts on all Delta and Northwest flights worldwide as the combined airline’s official magazine, featuring Heidi Klum, world-renowned model, actress and host of Project Runway on the inaugural cover. Sky magazine will also be available for purchase in U.S. bookstores beginning April 1.

For more details, go to news.delta.com.

Five-month Merger Milestones

This week’s integration of domestic products and services builds on merger milestones already completed since the closing of the Delta-Northwest merger on October 29, 2008, including:

  • Granting stock to substantially all U.S.-based employees. Upon completion of this grant, pre-merger Delta and Northwest employees owned nearly 15 percent of the new company.

 

  • Resolving union representation and seniority integration for pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, meteorologists and dispatchers. The development of seniority integration recommendations for a fair and equitable seniority integration method by pre-merger Delta flight attendants, Airport Customer Service/Cargo, Reservation Sales and TechOps Stores employees.

 

  • Adding Delta’s code to more than 90 percent of all Northwest flights, creating thousands of additional connecting opportunities and easier connections between the pre-merger Delta and Northwest hubs.

 

  • Expanding the benefits of pre-merger codeshare partnerships, including the expansion of Delta’s U.S. agreements with Alaska and Midwest airlines.

 

  • Introducing dual-airline functionality on delta.com and nwa.com and via Delta and Northwest airport check-in kiosks.

 

  • Aligning Delta SkyMiles and Northwest WorldPerks Programs including granting full complimentary upgrade reciprocity for elite members, linking frequent flyer accounts, consolidating mileage balances, offering a three-tiered award structure with more choices and options for award travel and outlining the timeline and plan to develop a best-in-class loyalty program for 2010.

 

  • Announcing the consolidation and rebranding of Delta Crown Room Clubs and Northwest WorldClubs into Delta SkyClubs, beginning mid-April.

 

  • Redeploying Delta and Northwest aircraft to better match supply to demand on select routes. 

Delta is continuing its progress to achieve a single operating certificate by the end of the year.

Satellite uplink available
Media are invited to cover the historic changeover beginning Monday, March 30 using Delta-provided footage of aircraft being painted from Northwest to Delta, signage being changed from Northwest to Delta, pre-merger Northwest employees donning the new Delta uniforms and employees serving new food and drink options onboard Delta flights. 

The uplink is available at the following times and coordinates

Monday, March 30, 2009, 10-10:30 a.m. EDT
SATELLITE:  GALAXY 3 CBAND @ 95 DEGREES WEST
TRANSPONDER: C- 9 (nine) ANALOG
UL FREQUENCY: 6105 VERTICAL
DL FREQUENCY: 3880 HORIZONTAL
AUDIO:   6.2   6.8

Monday, March 30, 2009, 2-2:30 p.m. EDT
SATELLITE:  GALAXY 3 CBAND @ 95 DEGREES WEST
TRANSPONDER: C- 9 (nine) ANALOG
UL FREQUENCY: 6105 VERTICAL
DL FREQUENCY: 3880 HORIZONTAL
AUDIO:   6.2   6.8

Delta Air Lines is the world’s largest airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, Delta, its Northwest subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 379 destinations in 66 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year. Delta’s marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta‘s more than 70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.
 

Source: Delta Air Lines

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