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Pilot Shortage Forces Northwest To Cut Back

Northwest Airlines Corp. said it will eliminate about 200 flights a month because of a shortage of pilots.

“We have the fortunate problem of having lots of business,” said spokesman Jon Austin. Northwest Airlines operates about 45,000 flights a month, he said.

Minneapolis-based Northwest has 5,400 pilots and is hiring about 42 more each month.

Northwest’s plan to increase capacity by about 6.9 percent is unaffected by the shortage, the company said. Most of the increase was expected to result from additional seats in existing aircraft and the substitution of larger aircraft on some routes.