Klm And Northwest: Rumble In The Cockpit

Their pact was seen as a model. Now it may be unraveling

It was a match made in heaven, or at least at 30,000 feet: the partnership of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a European carrier with a tiny home market, and Northwest Airlines Inc., a regional U.S. player with great Pacific routes. The seven-year KLM-Northwest union--which allows them to merge schedules, pricing, and service--has been adding $200 million annually to the carriers' combined revenue. And the link proved critical in 1993 when Northwest narrowly avoided bankruptcy thanks to $250 million in loans arranged by KLM.

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