Northwest Airlines will become the first U.S. carrier to operate the new Airbus A330-200 widebody airliner, following the conversion of ten of its order for 24 A330-300s, placed in 2001, into A330-200s. This is part of its plan to upgrade its transatlantic fleet with the two new, highly fuel efficient A330 models which are scheduled to replace Northwest's DC-10s on those routes later this year.

Northwest will receive its first A330-300 this summer with the remainder due over the next five years, while the first A330-200 is to be delivered in early summer 2004. Both versions of the Northwest A330s are to be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series engines.

With both the A330-300 and its smaller but longer range A330-200 stable-mate in its fleet, Northwest has the flexibility to better match future capacity requirements. In the Northwest configuration, the A330-300 will seat 300 passengers, while the -200 will accommodate 250.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.