In recent NW employee newsletters I've been shown by my NW contacts, there are indeed plans to either replace or expand current 747 intra-Asia service with *narrowbody* aircraft. (Isn't the new B757-300 the most likely candidate?)
With the current state of the U.S. and Japanese economies, wouldn't you expect NW to be more interested in replacing rather than expanding? Details are supposedly forthcoming by the end of the year.
In this year's NW annual report there was a mini-map of the big plans for expansion now underway at NRT. NW and KLM will be sharing a very large new Satellite 3 with about three times the gate space of the old, now demolished terminal. I believe the final construction should be completed by 2004, with no slow-down due to economic conditions anticipated.
Also, I've heard the very sad news that -- for the first time in Japan -- NW will be furloughing a good deal of their hard-working, dedicated ground staff and ISR flight attendants. Apparently the KIX base of ISRs will cut by 2/3rds. Also, all MNL-based regional flight attendants will be furloughed and their base will be shuttered.
...As rabid a UA fan as I am, I take no pleasure in hearing of the loss of these excellent NW overseas employees. I wish the affected staff and their families the very best in future. Hopefully they will be back on board very soon....