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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. – On the heels of officially changing its name from NWA Federal Credit Union to Wings Financial Federal Credit Union, the new moniker is coming under scrutiny from Northwest Airlines. “It appears to Northwest that the credit union intends to continue utilizing the NWA name and at facilities involving Northwest Airlines and its employees,” said Northwest Airlines Spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch in a statement. “This is an issue that is the subject of our lawsuit. We also believe we have claims to the Wings name, which is also a matter under litigation.” According to a published report, Wings Holdings was the investment group that took Northwest private in 1989. Last year, Northwest Airlines filed suit against NWA FCU for logo and trademark copyright infringements. The credit union has repeatedly said that it has used the Northwest signage since 1938 and has had trademarks on the NWA FCU name since 1988. On July 29, NWA Federal Credit Union announced that it had officially changed its name to Wings Financial Federal Credit Union. Wings Financial President/CEO Paul Parish said the airline has “never used Wings Holdings” in a public way” or “in relation to any financial services.” “Some time ago, we applied for a trademark on the Wings Financial Federal Credit Union name,” Parish said. “Northwest put us in the position for us to make it easier to change. We still feel that it’s important to retain some of the branding image of NWA FCU.” In March, $1.5 billion NWA Federal Credit Union launched Wings Financial as a separate division to serve the nation’s airline and airport employees as well as employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration through a trade, industry and profession (TIP) charter it received from NCUA. “We believe the Wings Financial name will appeal to our expanded air transportation field of membership,” Parish said. “The name Wings was selected because it’s simple, easy to remember and instantly brings to mind air transportation.” Parish said the NWA Federal Credit Union name will still be used in offices inside of Northwest Airlines’ facilities, but other offices and ATMs will be rebranded with the Wings Financial name. The name change and litigation from Northwest on the new name comes weeks after Wings Financial partnered with AirTran Airways to offer its 5,800 employees products and services. Parish said “on the bright side,” as the credit union moves forward with its marketing effort to the air transportation industry, there will be a number of affinity products available to members as a result of alliances that are in the works. [email protected]

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