Northwest Airlines, the nation's fifth largest airline, operates
hubs in Amsterdam, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, and Tokyo; as well as a focus city in Indianapolis. Northwest Airlines
and Northwest Airlink operate a fleet of over 500 aircraft including the Boeing 747-400, the world's second largest passenger
airliner. Northwest Airlines and its partners fly to more than 900 cities, in more than 160 countries, on six continents. Northwest
is a part of the Skyteam alliance and has code-share partners across the world.
Northwest Airlines Retires the DC-10
On January 7, 2007, Northwest's last DC-10 revenue flight left
Honolulu, on route to the Twin Cities, ending 34 years of service of the type for the airline.
Northwest placed their first order for the DC-10 in 1968. The airline ordered 22 DC-10-20s, which
used Pratt & Whitney JT-9D engines, unlike the Series 10 & 30. This was done to retain some commonality with the 747-100s
already operated by the airline. At Northwest's request, the designation was changed to DC-10-40, because they were worried
that people might think that this version of the DC-10 was less "modern" than the Series 30.
Beginning in 1991, Northwest purchased several DC-10-30s to operate primarily on their long
European routes. The airline's DC-10 fleet peaked in 2001, with 45 aircraft.
The last -40 was retired in 2002. These aircraft operated Northwest's heavier domestic routes.
They were all replaced with the Boeing 757-300.
Beginning in 2003, Northwest took delivery of Airbus A330s (both the 200 and 300 Series), to
replace their DC-10-30s used on the trans-Atlantic routes.
Several of Northwest's DC-10-30s will be sold to ATA Airlines to replace their L-1011s, used on charter routes. It will be great to see these DC-10s soldier on.