Pinnacle expects headquarters decision by fourth quarter

Washington DC
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Pinnacle Airlines says that it is still deciding whether to move its headquarters to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport or remain in Memphis, despite recent reports of a letter that alludes to the new location.

The letter was sent by recently appointed senior vice-president and chief financial officer Curt Berchtold, in which he tells his Silver Airways colleagues that he plans to move to Minnesota upon starting his new position at Pinnacle.

Pinnacle says that Berchtold's start date has not been set yet and that it is not affiliated with the letter.

The letter is not indicative of a final decision on its part and that it has not yet made the decision on whether to move, says Pinnacle. It expects its board of directors to make a decision in the fourth quarter.

Pinnacle, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 1 April, says that it is weighing opportunities to reduce costs as part of its reorganisation plan, which includes looking closely at the economics of leasing space in Memphis and elsewhere.

The board had also been considering Detroit as a possible destination along with Minneapolis, but it eliminated the city during an August board meeting. Both Tennessee and Minnesota have offered economic incentives to spur the company's interest.

Earlier this year, Minneapolis-St. Paul made a $10 million unsolicited offer to Pinnacle for two hangar facilities and office space. The airport used to be the headquarters of Mesaba, which Pinnacle's holding company acquired in 2008.

Pinnacle moved its headquarters to downtown Memphis after receiving $10 million in incentives from the city, including free parking. The airline is renting the office under a 13-year lease that expires in 2024.