Pinnacle Airlines Lands in MN with 350+ New Jobs
The Twin Cities will soon welcome a new airline carrier, Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, along with at least 350 new jobs that it plans to fill locally.
Memphis, Tennessee-based Pinnacle in January announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams told Twin Cities Business on Tuesday that the airline plans to hire at least 350 new airline industry jobs within Minnesota in conjunction with the move.
Pinnacle chose to move its headquarters to the Twin Cities after carefully evaluating it and two other major markets—Detroit and Memphis, where it's now based.
As an incentive for the relocation, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development pledged a $550,000 loan to Pinnacle in January, which will be forgiven if the company brings at least 200 jobs to the Twin Cities within two years.
Pinnacle, a regional carrier for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, currently has about 1,100 employees in Minnesota—mainly pilots, flight attendants, aircraft technicians, and general support staff based at MSP. It is searching across the airline industry for new employees to fill the positions it's adding locally.
At least 250 of the new jobs will be housed at Pinnacle's corporate office at MSP, Williams said. An additional 100 openings will be strictly for flight attendants, all of whom will be based in the Twin Cities. Pinnacle is also looking to hire aircraft maintenance technicians and fight crew schedulers.
Williams said that approximately 500 people work at the company’s current corporate headquarters in Memphis. Several hundred of those employees will move to the new MSP location. Those relocated jobs are in addition to the 350 being added locally.
Pinnacle’s move is part of a reorganization plan that it formed after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection nearly a year ago.
After Pinnacle emerges from Chapter 11, it will no longer be a publicly traded company and instead operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.
Pinnacle now has about 5,000 employees and operates 189 regional jets on 1,000 daily flights to 124 cities in the United States and Canada; about 100 of those departures originate from MSP. Delta spokesman Anthony Black confirmed that the company’s relocation will not affect any flights out of MSP.
In separate airline news, Delta on Wednesday sold its data center in Eagan for $37 million in a leaseback deal with Digital Towerview, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based data center company Digital Realty Trust. According to Black, Delta had an outstanding payment on the facility, and in order to delay payment, it sold the facility but also signed on to lease it for eight years. The facility comprises 329,000 square feet and houses a three-level data center.
“We are beginning to see more enterprise customers, such as Delta, looking to Digital Realty to help them monetize their real estate assets while continuing to support their critical operations with a well-capitalized, long-term data center owner,” Scott Peterson, chief acquisitions officer of Digital Realty, said in a statement.
After Pinnacle’s corporate relocation, Minnesota will once again be home to two airlines. It was previously home to Northwest Airlines, which was acquired by Delta in 2008, and it is still home to Mendota Heights-based Sun Country Airlines.