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Pinnacle Airlines leaving Memphis

Job losses likely in move to Minnesota

Gulf News

Minneapolis: Pinnacle Airlines plans to move its headquarters and a few hundred jobs to Minneapolis from Memphis, Tennesee.

Pinnacle has been reorganising under bankruptcy protection since last year and will become part of Delta Air Lines Inc when it emerges. It plans to move into space that Delta has rented but is not using at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport. Pinnacle said it expects to make the move by May.

Pinnacle employs 500 people at its Memphis headquarters and it is not yet known how many of those jobs will move to Minnesota, but it will be fewer than 500, Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams said.

Pinnacle has long been based in Memphis, but it has deep Minnesota connections, with roots going back to 1985, when it was a regional carrier for Minnesota-based Republic Airlines, which was acquired in 1986 by Minnesota-based Northwest.

Former Northwest executive John Spanjers has been Pinnacle’s CEO since June 2012. Spanjers was president of Minnesota-based Mesaba Airlines when Pinnacle acquired it in 2010.

In more recent years Pinnacle was independent. It eventually acquired regional airlines Colgan Air and Mesaba and flew for Delta, Continental, United and US Airways.