NWA pension freeze allowed
Judge lowers payments also
By Aleksandrs Rozens, Associated Press
St Paul Pioneer Press
February 1, 2006
NEW YORK — A New York bankruptcy judge Tuesday allowed
Northwest Airlines Corp. to freeze its pilot pension plan
and approved the carrier's request to negotiate lower lease
and loan payments for certain aircraft.
The carrier, which filed for bankruptcy protection in
September, and its pilots union, the Air Line Pilots
Association, agreed to the freeze of the defined benefit
plan. The creditors committee also came out in support of
the freeze, effective today, in court.
The pilots now will get a defined contribution plan, the
details of which are still being hashed out between ALPA and
The airline is seeking $1.4 billion in annual savings from
its labor unions.
A court hearing on Northwest's request to reject its
contracts with pilots and flight attendants is expected to
Kurt Ebenhoch, spokesman for Eagan-based Northwest, declined
to say how much the airline would save from the pension
freeze. The company's salaried employees saw their pension
plans frozen in August.
The airline also received court approval to lower lease and
loan payments for certain planes by renegotiating their
terms. The carrier's spokesman declined comment on how much
Northwest will save through the renegotiation of the leases
and loan payments.