Tag Archives: Northwest Airlines

In April 2008, I had the chance to travel to Seoul, South Korea to do a series of stories on Korean Air. After landing at Incheon International Airport, I had the chance to take some photos of the heavy metal parked at different gates. Below is a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 I snapped. NWA is gone, but not forgotten. Enjoy!

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Random Aviation Photo

Back in April 2008, I had the chance to go to Seoul, South Korea, to do a series of stories for Aviation Daily. While everyone else was rushing to customs and baggage claim after we landed, I took my time, taking photos of global carriers I didn’t often get to see in the U.S. But I could not resist taking a few snaps of a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 parked at a gate at Incheon International Airport.  Enjoy!

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Random Aviation Photo

Back in November 2007, I took at trip to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. At the time, construction on runway 9L/27R was under way. I got the full behind-the-scenes tour, complete with a stroll on said runway. I also got the chance to take the photos below, of a Northwest Airlines cargo Boeing 747. Enjoy!

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Random Aviation Photo

The Supreme Court is about to hear a case over a dispute about frequent flyer miles. The case was brought against Northwest Airlines, accused of kicking Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg out of its frequent flyer program because he complained too much. It made me nostalgic for the carrier, so below is an NWA Airbus A320 I shot at DFW Airport. Enjoy!

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The End Of An Era For Another Regional Airline

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A Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200. Photo courtesy of Caribb, via Flickr.

Regular readers know that I covered the regional airline industry worldwide from 1993 to 2001.  During that time, I had a front-row seat to regionals that grew from small airlines to behemoths that were publicly traded.  So I felt a little sad when I read in Aviation International News that Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines had emerged from bankruptcy and is now owned by Delta Air Lines.  And as part of the deal, the carrier is moving to the old Northwest Minneapolis hub.

When I started writing about Pinnacle, it was known as Express Airlines I, with hubs in Minneapolis and Memphis, based in Atlanta.  It was privately held and run by Mike Brady, who was pressured to sell the airline to Northwest in 1997.  It was taken over by Phil Trenary, formerly of Lone Star Airlines.

Trenary moved the operation to Memphis and oversaw a complete overhaul of the carrier’s fleet.  He also renamed the airline Pinnacle and gave it a totally new brand.  I was lucky enough to be there on the day the carrier took its first Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet, dubbed The Spirit of the Memphis Belle. It was a thrill to meet Col. Robert Morgan, captain of the original Boeing B17 Memphis Belle.  I also got a VIP tour of Graceland.

In 2000, I named Trenary regional airline executive of the year for 1999 in recognition of his rebuilding of Pinnacle.  Fast forward to 2011, when Trenary resigned two years after subsidiary Colgan Air had an aircraft crash outside of Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 49.  After that, the airline went into a slide, which led it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 1, 2012.

At its peak, Pinnacle had almost 300 aircraft in its fleet.  The new, post-bankruptcy airline will shed all of its 50-seat CRJs and operate 81 CRJ900s with two-class seating. So now, the airline lives to see another day, albeit at a shell of its former self, a pattern that I’m seeing way too much in the regional aviation sector.