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Pinnacle Airlines moving HQ to MSP

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Memphis, Tenn.-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp. announced Thursday that the company will relocate its headquarters to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this spring, the Memphis Daily News reports. The regional air carrier will move into a vacant space leased by Delta Air Lines by May.

"We had the responsibility to explore every aspect of our business to find opportunities to reduce costs, including evaluating our property leases, to find the most economical options for Pinnacle," John Spanjers, president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, said in a news release. "Our analysis covered everything from the available labor pool and operational alignment to economic incentives. Both Memphis and the State of Minnesota presented very strong cases. In the end, it was an economic decision."

Pinnacle has about 500 employees in Memphis, but the Pioneer Press says its unclear how many jobs will be transferred to the new Twin Cities headquarters.

The Star Tribune reports the move will involve roughly 200 executives, control center personnel and IT employees. The newspaper notes Pinnacle is the main commuter partner of Delta at MSP and operates approximately 80 departures out of Minnesota per day.

According to the Memphis newspaper, Delta could take in Pinnacle as a wholly owned subsidiary as the company emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Pinnacle acquired Mesaba Airlines in July 2010 for $62 million. The company closed its 50,000-square-foot Eagan headquarters last January.

“Through its affiliation with Delta Air Lines and its acquisition of Minnesota-based Mesaba Airlines, Pinnacle has long played a key role in transporting travelers to and from MSP Airport," Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said in a statement. "We are pleased and excited to welcome Pinnacle Airlines as it transitions its headquarters to its new home at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”

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