Pinnacle Airlines to Ask Creditors for Help

AP

MEMPHIS (AP) Pinnacle Airlines Corp., which operates regional flights as Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express, said Thursday that it's trying to make deals with its major airline partners, creditors and employees to cut costs and reduce its debt.

"Pinnacle Airlines Corp. is facing a convergence of events that, if left unaddressed, will make 2012 an extremely challenging year," President and CEO Sean Menke said in a statement.

Its shares dropped 12 cents, or 6.1 percent, to $1.79 in morning trading Thursday.

The airline lost $8.8 million in the first nine months of this year in contrast to a profit of $17 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue improved in that time, but costs accelerated at a faster pace. It ended the third quarter with $81.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Pinnacle said it will try and modify its deals with Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Corp. and US Airways Group Inc., the companies that lease its equipment and real estate, debt holders and vendors. The company will also ask its pilots and other employees, both union and non-union, to help it reduce costs. In addition, Pinnacle said it's looking at its business structure and executive functions for possible ways to streamline the operation.

Pinnacle has about 7,800 employees. It's the parent company of Pinnacle Airlines, Mesaba Aviation and Colgan Air.

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