What Will Delta Do with Northwest’s 747s?

Posted by Matt Phillips

The introduction of the first 747-400 in Delta colors earlier this month marks the first time Delta has flown a 747 aircraft since 1977. Above, a 1970s-era Delta 747 departs from Atlanta.

Judging by the flurry of comments on Delta’s repainting of some of Northwest’s red-tailed 747-400s, readers may also be interested in hearing about Delta’s plans for the newly repainted birds. Delta spokesman Kent Landers sent us an update:

The Delta-painted 747-400 is flying on routes between the US and Asia and within Asia from the Tokyo. In the coming weeks it could be spotted on any of the following routes: Detroit-Osaka; Detroit-Nagoya; Detroit-Tokyo; Hong Kong-Tokyo; Honolulu-Tokyo; Osaka-Taipei; Los Angeles-Tokyo; Manila-Nagoya; Manila-Tokyo; Minneapolis-St.Paul-Tokyo; and Tokyo-Shanghai.

In terms of an update on other Northwest aircraft that are being converted to Delta’s livery, four aircraft are complete at this time (the 747, 1 A320, 1 DC-9 and 1 757). During 2009 we plan to paint approximately 200 Northwest planes into the Delta livery as we continue the conversion of the Northwest brand to Delta. By the end of 2010, we expect all Delta aircraft to be painted in the Delta livery.

For the real airline geeks out there — and we know you’re out there — might find this interesting:

According to Landers, the December introduction of the former Northwest 747-400 in Delta colors, marks the first time Delta has flown a 747 aircraft since 1977. Between 1970 and April 1977, Delta operated five 747-132s.

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