Pinnacle to close Memphis maintenance hangar from February

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Pinnacle Airlines will begin the process of closing its Memphis maintenance facility as soon as 1 February, a notice filed with Tennessee's department of labour and workforce development shows.

The Memphis-based regional airline plans to lay off 97 workers as part of the process. The employees do not have a collective bargaining agreement with the airline.

The closure will take place between 1 February and 30 March, the filing says. Pinnacle uses the hangar for overnight and line maintenance checks.

The carrier also operates 12 other maintenance facilities around the country, which could employ some of the laid off workers. Separately, Pinnacle confirms that it has opened a new maintenance hangar in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport as planned, which performs Bombardier CRJ200 and CRJ900 maintenance.

The bankrupt regional carrier has forged agreements to emerge from bankruptcy as a Delta Air Lines subsidiary, pending court approval. To satisfy Delta's new fleet plan, the carrier will remove 140 CRJ200s from its fleet within the next two to three years and operate a fleet of 81 CRJ900 aircraft.

Pinnacle did not comment on whether the Delta takeover would affect its other maintenance stations.