Pinnacle Airlines Lands New Deals
Memphis-based, Pinnacle Airlines Corp., the parent company of Pinnacle Air Inc., is soaring high right now thanks to a new agreement with Northwest Airlines and the purchase of Colgan Air Inc., another regional airline.
Pinnacle Airlines Inc.'s agreement with Northwest means the regional carrier will continue to fly the 124-plane fleet of 50-seat regional jets on loan from Northwest as Northwest Airlink. Although the carrier will be taking a decrease in pay, it stands to get 17 76-seat Bombardier regional jets this year, provided it can sign a labor agreement with its pilots by March 31.
The most attractive part of the deal for Pinnacle Corp. was the agreement reached with Northwest allowing the airline the right to fly for other carriers. Only a month after announcing the new agreement with Northwest, Pinnacle bought Colgan Airlines Inc., an East Coast-based commuter airline for $20 million in cash and secured notes. The deal immediately gave Pinnacle contracts with four of the nation's biggest carriers – Continental Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways as well as the agreement the carrier already has in place with Northwest.
Colgan Air Inc., is a premier turbo-prop regional airline operating as Continental Connection, United Express and US Airways Express. Launched in 1991 as a family-owned and operated company, Colgan Air offers 354 daily flights to 53 cities in 13 states. Colgan Air operates 39 Saab 340 and 11 Beech 1900 regional airliners, and has hub operations in Boston, Houston, New York, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. The airline employs approximately 1,100 people and transported nearly 1.5 million customers in 2006.
Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. and Colgan Air Inc., will operate as two separate entities with independent and separate management structures.