Is Northwest Airlines still a local story?

Here’s a question I’ve been noodling on. When do we stop caring about Northwest Airlines as a local story? When it was a hometown airline, it was obvious to most of us, I think, why we needed to concentrate on it. It was one of us. But now it’s a part of an airline based in Atlanta, we’re another stop on its thousands of destinations. We’re a busy Cincinnati.

So do we still care what its CEO thinks? Is that still a story with a “local angle”?

If Richard Anderson, former Northwest chairman (and MPR board member) and now Delta CEO, goes on TV and talks about how great bankruptcy was for his airline(s) and is asked whether it’d be just as fabulous for the auto industry, do we care?

By the way, there was an event today that further solidified the end of the Northwest brand. The first Delta-emblazoned 747 took off from Minneapolis-St. Paul today, bound for Japan.

  • Alison

    Does anyone know if the state lost a lot of tax revenue with the loss of Northwest and the headquarters? If so, how much does it contribute to our current budget shortfall?

  • bsimon

    It is still a local story until a couple things are resolved. Primarily, the state still has some negotation to do with Delta/Northwest regarding what they (the airline) owe us (the state, aka taxpayers) for the agreement about maintaining a headquarters here. Secondarily, as long as Delta/Northwest enjoys de-facto monopoly status in the Lindberg terminal, the story is ‘local’. If Delta is ever reduced to a non-favored status that restores service parity to MSP, we can stop paying close attention to their goings-on.