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Northwest cutting service through Milwaukee airport

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 (AP) - Northwest Airlines Corp. says it will end nonstop service from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Orlando effective Jan. 2.

      But airline spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said Monday the carrier will continue offering 15 daily nonstop departures from Mitchell International Airport to its three hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis.

      "The flights were not meeting our financial expectations, in part because of the cost of jet fuel, which has now surpassed the cost of labor at Northwest and many other airlines," he said.

      The cost of jet fuel has gone up 134 percent to $1.80 a gallon since Northwest began flying from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Orlando in July 2003, Ebenhoch said.

      Northwest has cut back service in Milwaukee and other cities since the fall of 2005, when it began reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

      The last major service cut in Milwaukee was in January, when Northwest dropped nonstop service from Milwaukee to LaGuardia Airport in New York and Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. 

Those flights had been offered through Northwest Airlink, the regional carrier affiliated with Northwest Airlines. 

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)