Northwest Airlines has been named the official airline for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul Sept. 1-4, the party announced Thursday.

The airline, based in Eagan, will offer convention guests a discount on airline fares, said convention spokesman Matt Burns, although he declined to be specific.

It is common for organizations holding conventions, including ones much smaller than the GOP gathering, to develop discount arrangements for attendees with a specific airline, and Northwest has done it in the past.

Dean Breest, a Northwest spokesman, said that it is also traditional for home-town companies in a city where the convention is being held to offer various types of support.

RANDY FURST