Release #06.PCL
March 14, 2006

Pinnacle Pilots Support Mesaba Airlink Partners in Fighting Sham Bankruptcy

MEMPHIS, TN -- The pilots of Pinnacle Airlines today announced their staunch support of Mesaba Airlines pilots, fellow members of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l., in their fight against Mesaba management’s outrageous demands for wage and work rule concessions using the 1113C bankruptcy process.

“This tactic is an insult to our profession and an affront to good employees. This is clearly an attempt by Mesaba management to use the bankruptcy process to impose a disproportionate burden of the sacrifice on its pilots,” said Captain Wake Gordon, Chairman of the Pinnacle Pilots Master Executive Council, who will be a guest speaker at a Mesaba Pilot Rally in Minneapolis March 15.

Management’s demand for 20 percent pay cuts, coupled with an increased contribution of up to 60 percent for health insurance premiums, would put Mesaba pay rates at poverty levels and well below the industry average. A new line pilot would gross just $13,100 after making a 50 percent contribution to family health coverage. More senior pilots would see their pay reduced by up to 66 percent.

Gordon points out that the Mesaba pilot group has made numerous proposals to help provide cost savings in light of both Northwest and Mesaba’s bankruptcy filings, despite the fact that Mesaba has been consistently profitable during the past several quarters for its parent company, MAIR Holdings. Mesaba’s motion to throw out the pilot’s contract highlights a growing trend among airline management to fix its mistakes and mismanagement at the expense of its employees. The only viable path out of bankruptcy will require management to reach consensual agreements with all labor groups.

The Pinnacle pilots have supported Mesaba during past contentious negotiations and are proud to do so again. “The Mesaba pilots are now in a fight that could have a potentially dire impact on a proud profession. This affects every pilot in the airline industry,” said Gordon. “Pinnacle pilots support the Mesaba pilots and will help do everything possible to defend against these brutal tactics by management.” 

Pinnacle Airlines operates as a Northwest Airlink partner under a service agreement with Northwest Airlines. Currently, Pinnacle Airlines serves 110 cities in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Canada from Northwest’s three major hubs: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Memphis. Pinnacle employs 1200 professional airline pilots who operate an advanced fleet of 124 CRJ-200 regional jets.

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 62,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at for more information.

# # #

ALPA CONTACTS: Kimberly Seitz at (703) 481-4463
Wake Gordon at (901) 527-0355