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NORTHWEST AIRLINK TO BEGIN SERVICE AT CHAMPAIGN/URBANA, ILLINOIS

 CHAMPAIGN/URBANA, Ill., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Airlink today announced it will begin daily service between Champaign/Urbana and Northwest Airlines' largest hub, Detroit, on Sept. 9, 1993. Northwest Airlink is the regional airline partner of Northwest Airlines and is operated by Mesaba Aviation.
 Four daily round-trip flights will connect the University of Illinois-Willard Airport with Detroit. Detroit is Northwest's largest traffic center with more than 400 daily Northwest and Northwest Airlink flight departures to destinations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
 "Northwest Airlink will substantially improve the options passengers have to travel between the Champaign/Urbana area and cities throughout the world," said Eric W. Hanson, sales manager for Mesaba at a media conference held today at Champaign/Urbana. "Flights are well-timed so that passengers can directly connect with Northwest flights in all directions via Detroit."
 The new flights will depart Willard Airport for Detroit at 5:35 a.m., 10:10 a.m., 1:20 p.m., and 5:10 p.m. and arrive Detroit at 8:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:50 p.m., and 7:40 p.m., respectively. Return service will depart Detroit at 9:20 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. and will arrive in Champaign/Urbana at 9:50 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:45 p.m., and 10:00 p.m., respectively. Three of the four round trips are nonstop; the early morning flight to Detroit and the late evening return flight include a brief stop at Lafayette, Indiana.
 Two of the four round trips will be flown with the airline's new de Havilland Dash 8 series 100 aircraft. The 37-seat Dash 8 is widely used in the regional airline industry and is a favorite among passengers due to its wide body, jet-like interior. The pressurized aircraft features stand-up headroom, a lavatory, inflight service, low interior noise levels and generous storage space for carry-on luggage.
 The remaining trips will operate with Mesaba's 19-seat Fairchild Metro III aircraft. The Metro III cruises at speeds of 300 miles per hour and offers a pressurized, comfortable service to passengers.
 Mesaba operates as Northwest Airlink under a marketing agreement with Northwest Airlines. As part of that agreement, the two airlines coordinate flight schedules, fares and marketing programs. Passengers flying on Northwest Airlink receive one-stop baggage check-in, advance seating assignments, boarding passes and earn mileage credit in WORLDPERKS, Northwest's free travel program. Champaign/Urbana will be the fiftieth city on Mesaba's route system.
 Mesaba Aviation, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minnesota- based AirTran Corporation. AirTran's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol ATCC.
 Northwest Airlines is the world's fourth-largest airline and with its Northwest Airlink partners serves more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Australia.
 -0- 7/2/93
 /CONTACT: Eric W. Hanson, sales manager for Mesaba Airlines, 612-726-5151, ext. 356 or (fax) 612-725-4901/
 (ATCC)


CO: Mesaba Aviation, Inc.; AirTran Corporation ST: Illinois IN: AIR SU: PDT

KH -- MN011 -- 8241 07/02/93 15:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1993
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