Mesaba Airlines to close next yearby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Eagan headquarters of Mesaba Airlines will close next year, said officials at the Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines.
Pinnacle acquired Mesaba last year. Both are Delta Airlines partners flying smaller jets. Mesaba employs about 800 people in Minnesota. In a statement, Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams said all workers will be offered other jobs at Pinnacle. Employees must accept the offer by the end of this year.
Pinnacle will continue to run a training facility, pilot base and maintenance base in Minnesota, Williams said.
Mesaba was founded in Coleraine on Minnesota's Iron Range in 1944.
The loss of Mesaba is a "tragedy," Gov. Mark Dayton said.
"I've not had a chance to follow up with pinnacle and see what their further intentions are," Dayton said. "The airline industry is one of consolidation and the companies make their own decisions regardless of the best interests of the employees or the customers."
Dayton spoke Saturday at the governor's mansion in St. Paul.