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NORTHWEST AIRLINES OPERATIONS CHIEF SEES BETTER ECONOMIC TIMES AHEAD

NORTHWEST AIRLINES OPERATIONS CHIEF SEES BETTER ECONOMIC TIMES AHEAD
 ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In a speech today to the Economic Outlook Forum, William D. Slattery, executive vice president -- operations, outlined Northwest Airlines's growth plans and addressed the economy's impact on business in Minnesota. While the rest of the country has not seen a strong economy, the recession has not hit Minnesota as hard because of its ties with other global economies, according to Slattery.
 "Increasingly, Minnesota's economy is affected by decisions made not just beyond our borders, but beyond the oceans," he said. "Northwest is a metaphor for how tied Minnesota business is to the rest of the planet. We have employees around the world, property around the world and economists who are studying...to predict how our company's product will sell in coming months," Slattery said.
 Discussing the state of the airline industry, Slattery said that even though industry traffic is projected to grow by about 3 or 4 percent and revenue by about 5 percent, Northwest expects its domestic revenue to grow between 5 and 10 percent, Atlantic revenue 15 to 20 percent and Pacific revenue 20 to 25 percent. In relation to service in Minnesota, Slattery said, "We see our capacity....growing between 6 and 10 percent," but added that for Minneapolis/St. Paul to enhance its status as a major port of entry, Northwest must continue "to support the efforts of the Metropolitan Airports Commission to bring the international terminal up to speed."
 Slattery predicted Northwest's growth in the South Pacific and added, "Our new expanded routes to Japan, Micronesia and Australia will be generating revenue for a full year for the first time in 1992." Slattery said 1992 will be a much better year for the airline than '91. He said, "We're putting more Airbus A-320s in service...and that will increase our fuel efficiency and lower operating costs." Northwest also is negotiating with the Soviet Union for rights to fly over Siberia, which would save time and fuel costs on many trans-Pacific flights. Concerning the current debate over the state financing package for Northwest maintenance bases, Slattery said although no economic development is without risk, "The state can't sit back and do nothing."
 He added, "I think the people of Minnesota realize that risk is part of the price you pay for progress...and if we build these bases to maintain our new Airbus planes, we will indeed be doing global business in Minnesota."
 -0- 12/3/91
 /CONTACT: Northwest Corporate Communications, 612-726-2331/ CO: Northwest Airlines ST: Minnesota IN: AIR SU:


KH -- MN009 -- 8953 12/03/91 17:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1991
Words:438
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