Pinnacle considers headquarters move to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Washington DC
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Pinnacle Airlines is considering an unsolicited bid to move its corporate headquarters to Minneapolis, less than a year after relocating to downtown Memphis.

The parent of regional airlines Colgan Air, Mesaba and Pinnacle filed for bankruptcy protection on 1 April and outlined plans to cease turboprop flying for United Airlines as United Express.

"We're examining every aspect of our business to find opportunities to reduce costs, including facility carrying costs," Pinnacle says. "We don't have any plans to move but every opportunity to reduce costs will be considered."

So far, the carrier's only opportunity to relocate has come from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, the former headquarters of Mesaba before it was acquired by Pinnacle's holding company in 2008.

"We had heard from the grapevine that Pinnacle might be giving up some space for the headquarters in Memphis," the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport says.

Minneapolis-St. Paul contacted Pinnacle to discuss its vacant space, including offices renovated by Delta Air Lines for $10 million. The space was designed to house a headquarters for Delta's regional airline operations.

The airport is also offering Pinnacle access to two hangar facilities, each with 4,180m2 (45,000ft2) of floor space.

Airport officials hope to meet with Pinnacle within two weeks to discuss the offer.

If Pinnacle accepts, such a move would deal a huge blow to downtown Memphis, which courted the airline to its current location from one near the airport with a $10 million incentive package, including free parking.

At the same time, Pinnacle has not been building up operations at Mesaba's former home at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. In fact, the carrier withdrew most of its essential air service flying from the airport to small cities in the upper Midwest, with Great Lakes Aviation assuming the routes earlier this year under an "enhanced" codeshare agreement with Delta.