Pinnacle Airlines Encouraged to Relocate to MN

A Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman told the Star Tribune that the commission “had a phone conversation with leadership at Pinnacle to express our interest in seeing them move here.”

Pinnacle Airlines, a regional carrier for Delta Air Lines that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, is being encouraged to move its corporate headquarters from Memphis, Tennessee, to Minnesota.

A Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman told the Star Tribune that the commission “had a phone conversation with leadership at Pinnacle to express our interest in seeing them move here.”

Pinnacle bought Eagan-based Delta subsidiary Mesaba Airlines for $62 million in 2010. Then, late last year, Pinnacle shuttered Mesaba’s Minnesota headquarters—a move that was expected to result in the loss of roughly 200 jobs.

Pinnacle has 7,400 employees, including roughly 1,500 in Memphis and 1,200 in Minnesota, including pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and 50 workers at an Eagan training facility, according to the Star Tribune.

Joe Williams, manager of corporate communications for Pinnacle, told the Minneapolis newspaper that the company is “examining every aspect of our business to find opportunities to reduce costs—this includes partner contracts, vendor contracts, and other areas of the business including facility carrying costs.”

“We currently don’t have plans to move, but every opportunity to reduce costs will be considered,” he added.

The Star Tribune pointed out that there are two empty hangars at MSP, which would provide ample space for a new airline tenant. One of the hangars was built for Mesaba Airlines.

Representatives from economic development agencies in Memphis, meanwhile, told the Minneapolis newspaper that they want Pinnacle to stay put, and they suspect that incentives the company receives there will entice it to remain in Memphis.

Read the full Star Tribune story here.

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