Northwest Airlines Q3 loss of $475 million

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Northwest Airlines Corp. Reported a third quarter net loss of $475 million, or $5.45 per share.

In the third quarter of 2004, the Eagan-based airline lost $46 million, or $0.54 per share.

The total loss includes $82 million in pension curtailment charges and $159 million reorganization charges connected to its bankruptcy proceedings. Without these charges, the airline would have lost $234 million, or $2.69 per share in the third quarter.

CEO Doug Steenland said in a statement that these results “clearly demonstrate the need for Northwest to restructure.”

He noted the airline could improve its profits by $2.5 billion if it achieves a number of changes, including reducing labor costs, lower lease payments for its airplanes and developing “a more efficient business model.”

Northwest’s operating revenue in the third quarter increased by 10.7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2004 to $3.46 billion.

Rising fuel prices were a major contributor to the increased losses. Fuel was 48.3 percent more expensive compared to last year’s third quarter, at 184.5 cents per gallon.