Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines originally known as Northwest Airways began operations in 1926 as an airmail carrier providing airmail service to the United States Postal Services. In 1934, Northwest Airways reincorporated as Northwest Airlines. 

Republic Airlines had acquired North Central Airlines, Southern Airways and Hughes Airwest in the late 1970's and early 1980's in its efforts to remain viable in the market. However, Republic Airlines continued to have great difficulties. In 1986, Northwest Airlines acquired Republic Airlines. 

Northwest Airlines takeover of Republic Airlines was an effort to gain a stronger hold in the air passenger and cargo markets. This was a very volatile time for the industry. With airfare price wars brought on by deregulation, airlines carriers for the second time in history (see Pan Am) need to ban together or be taken over through hostile mergers.

Northwest Airlines history is a prime example of the degree to which airline mergers were taking place due to the volatility in the industry. Record number of mergers that was taking place throughout the 1970's and 1980's.

In 1970, Hughes Air Corporation, owned by Howard Hughes created the Hughes Airwest Airlines after purchasing Air West Airlines. Air West Airlines had purchased several regional air carriers; Pacific Airlines, Bonanza Airlines, West Coast Airlines, Zimmerly Airlines and Empire Airlines before being taken over by Hughes Airwest.