Pinnacle Airlines Declares Bankruptcy

Pinnacle Airlines Corp, the parent company of regional carriers Pinnacle Airlines and Colgan Air, filed for bankruptcy over the weekend.

No More Pinnacle Flights for United, US Airways

According to media reports, it will cease operating as a regional carrier for United and US Airways but will continue to fly for Delta with re-worked contracts.

FAA Fines Pinnacle’s Colgan Air

As Reuters reports, regional carriers are feeling the pressure as the big-name airlines they fly for cut back on smaller cities in part to save on soaring fuel costs.

Or, as Pinnacles’ CEO said, “Quite simply, our current business model is not sustainable.” The company’s nearly 8,000 employees are expected to be asked for wage concessions and some may be laid off.

Pinnacle: A Hidden Airline

Some passengers have no doubt flown these carriers without quite realizing it, since the planes would be branded with their bigger partner’s name such as Delta Connection or United Express. NPR calls such carriers hidden airlines but the name Colgan maybe be familiar because of the 2009 crash of a Continental Express flight operated by Colgan that killed 50 people near Buffalo.

It Really is Safer to Fly than Drive

Pinnacle’s Recent Pay Raises

Two more media notes of interest:

  • In February, Pinnacle invoked a 5 percent pay cut for pilots, saying it had to do this to avoid bankruptcy.
  • In March, Pinnacle’s CEO and senior vice president received raises of 60 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

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Published: April 2, 2012