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Airline won't seek loan guarantee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Saying it's already in a strong financial position, Northwest Airlines won't join other major carriers in seeking a federal loan guarantee.

"We cannot qualify and we really don't need it," Richard Anderson, Northwest's chief executive, said Wednesday.

The Eagan-based airline lost $171 million during the first quarter.

But Anderson said the airline's $2.7 billion cash balance gives it some security.

Anderson also said he is deferring next year's delivery of six narrow-bodied Airbus planes because of reduced passenger loads.

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Northwest spokesman Bill Mellon said the airline still plans to take delivery on 61 airplanes this year.

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