Questions abound about Pinnacle's ability to survive - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Questions abound about Pinnacle's ability to survive

Pinnacle Airlines is undergoing more restructuring and that means there's more uncertainty on the fate of the company and its presence in downtown Memphis. Pinnacle Airlines is undergoing more restructuring and that means there's more uncertainty on the fate of the company and its presence in downtown Memphis.

(WMC-TV) – Pinnacle Airlines is undergoing more restructuring and that means there's more uncertainty on the fate of the company and its presence in downtown Memphis.

The Memphis-based airline continues to restructure and based upon what it's already said, Pinnacle may look very different after it emerges from bankruptcy than it did last year.

"They are likely to get rid of about a third of their fleet," said Seth Kaplan.

Kaplan works for Airline Weekly, a publication that follows commercial passenger aviation worldwide.

"There's no way that you stop flying about a third of your airplanes without also laying off a whole lot of people, especially pilots and flight attendants, but also people on the ground," Kaplan said.

That leaves some people concerned about the future of the company Downtown.

Last August, the company moved its headquarters and 650 people Downtown to the once empty One Commerce Center.

But now, less than a year later, more downsizing and layoffs are expected and there's rampant speculation about Pinnacle's future.

"Whether they survive on their own is a different question," said Kaplan. "Might there be another merger? You have another airline like SkyWest, which is kind of a bigger version of Pinnacle, which might take a look and say we might be interested in buying this airline."

After spending years expanding and serving several airlines, Pinnacle is planning to serve just Delta Air Lines with a smaller fleet expected in the years ahead.

Joe Williams, Pinnacle's spokesman, said the airline doesn't have any plans to leave Downtown and has no knowledge of any other airline with interest in buying the company. Williams declined to comment on the possibility of layoffs hitting the Pinnacle workforce.

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