Delta Air Lines has introduced the first Boeing 747-400 in new Delta livery. An item on the Delta Air Lines Blog, which included the photo at right, said, "Ship 6305 is the first of 16 747-400s operated by Northwest Airlines, now a part of Delta, to be rolled out of a hangar in Victorville, CA in the new paint scheme."
Although anti-trust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice approved the Delta-Northwest merger in late October of this year, the two carriers continue to operate under two separate FAA operating certificates. Until such time as a single operating certificate is granted for the combined airlines -- anticipated some time in 2009 -- this aircraft and others from the Northwest fleet will continue to be flown by Northwest crews under Northwest operating procedures, regardless of livery.
According to Steve Smith (Delta Fleet Captain, Boeing 747 Fleet), "...you’ll be able to tell what is operated under the Northwest certificate by a label affixed to the side of the plane that reads, 'Operated by Northwest Airlines, Inc.' Air Traffic Controllers will also tell us apart when we’re taxiing around airports worldwide with our new FAA call sign that distinguishes Northwest planes 'in Delta colors'."