Northwest will never suffer because of the lack of Latin American, or South American routes due to the fact that Northwest already has it's cash crops set in the Asian Market. Plus I don't think the failing economies of these South and Central American countries looks too pleasant in the eyes of Northwest execs. Also the point of Northwest lacking a sensible hub for Carribean locations is valid, but not totally true. Minneapolis and Detroit may not be exactly the best spots to launch a flight to Sao Paulo from, we forget about Memphis being another Northwest fortress, and it could be the bridging gap. Plus Northwest wouldn't need to have service of it's own to Central, and South, and Latin America because Continental already has a presence in the South American field, having flights to about all major capitals on that continent. Also, Continental's alliance with Copa Airlines of Nicraragrua gives them a stong base in the Central American field. And back to Northwest, the KLM alliance again gives double coverage, because KLM has it's prescence felt in Latin America as well, especially in the Netherlands Antilles region. Anyways, no matter what happens, Northwest will always have an important place in American transportation, and will continue to thrive, even without it's Central, South, and Latin American destinations(that will be taken care of by it's alliance partners).