Northwest Airlines and AmeriCares Announce Relief Effort for South Asia

EAGAN, Minn., and STAMFORD, Conn., Dec 30, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Continuing a long-standing partnership, Northwest Airlines and AmeriCares are teaming up to transport relief supplies to South Asia for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunamis.

NWA Cargo, the cargo subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, has offered to carry up to 200 tons of supplies -- the equivalent of two full Boeing 747 freighters -- over the next 60 days. Northwest, the only U.S. passenger airline that also operates freighters, will provide space on its regularly scheduled all-cargo and passenger/cargo combination flights between the United States and Bangkok, Thailand, and Singapore.

The initial shipment, including medical and other relief supplies provided by AmeriCares donors in the United States, is expected to depart in the next few days.

"The tragic floods in South Asia represent human suffering of incomprehensible magnitude," said Doug Steenland, president and chief executive officer of Northwest Airlines. "AmeriCares and Northwest Airlines have worked together for a decade to provide and transport medical and humanitarian relief to people affected by major disasters throughout the world. This disaster presents a significant challenge for AmeriCares in its mission to deliver help, hope and relief to those suffering, and also calls for Northwest and its employees to once again assist AmeriCares in responding to the needs of the affected people as part of our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region."

"We are truly appreciative of Northwest Airlines' generosity at this critical time," said Curtis R. Welling, president and CEO of AmeriCares. "We have a long-standing relationship with Northwest, which has been helping us for the past 10 years in times of disasters. Their critical transportation assistance will enable our medical relief supplies to reach the earthquake and tsunami survivors in Asia as quickly as possible."

Northwest Airlines has been the key transportation partner of AmeriCares for disaster relief airlifts within the United States and throughout Asia. This partnership has helped AmeriCares deliver medicines and relief supplies to victims of both domestic and international disasters.

Northwest's partnership with AmeriCares is an important element of Northwest's AirCares community support program, established in 1992 to work with national and international non-profit organizations that reflect Northwest's values. Members of Northwest's WorldPerks frequent flyer program can contribute mileage to support of AirCares charities.

Connecticut-based AmeriCares is a nonprofit humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization that supports long-term medical assistance programs and provides emergency relief in the United States and around the world. In the United States, AmeriCares provides basic medical services for the uninsured, refurbishes the homes of the physically and financially disadvantaged and gives a summer camping experience to inner-city children affected by HIV/AIDS. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $4 billion in humanitarian aid to 137 countries.

Individuals wishing to support AmeriCares relief efforts in Southeast Asia can log onto or call AmeriCares directly at 1-800- 486-HELP (4357).

NWA Cargo is the largest cargo carrier among U.S. combination passenger and cargo airlines. NWA Cargo's fleet of 12 dedicated Boeing 747 freighter aircraft fly from key cities throughout United States and Asia and connect at the carrier's cargo hub in Anchorage, Alaska, facilitating the quick transfer of cargo between large cities on both sides of the Pacific. NWA Cargo also transports freight aboard the passenger fleet of Northwest Airlines to more than 250 cities worldwide.