Northwest Airlines brings aboard new media relations director

MINNEAPOLIS: Northwest Airlines has hired William Mellon as

managing director of media relations. He will start his new job on June


'He certainly will help us develop our global communications strategy

for the coming year,' said Mary Beth Schubert, a Northwest


Mellon replaces Jon Austin who left Northwest several months ago. The

company works with many PR agencies on a project basis but does not have

an agency of record.

Northwest's PR team has focused recently on issues of airport innovation

and technology. Schubert said the airline is the only major carrier to

offer Internet check-in.

Another feature is the portable agent workstation (PAW), which enables

employees to move through the terminal and check in passengers.

Last week, Northwest launched enhanced wireless options. 'This means

passengers can voluntarily change flight plans during irregular

operations,' Schubert said. 'If a flight is cancelled because of

weather, for example, instead of standing in line you can pull up

information on a computer or at a kiosk.'

Mellon has worked in corporate communications for 23 years and is a

specialist in aviation. Most recently, he managed his own PR consulting

agency in Washington, DC. He previously worked in global PR for

Rockwell, a contractor for the space shuttle. He also handled PR for the

Asia Pacific region for Boeing, and was formerly an AP reporter.

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