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Memphis mourns the loss of Pinnacle and and is outraged at Delta's broken promises. Delta's investments in Pinnacle, and its acquisition, highlight the growing importance of regional airlines to mainline carriers.

Delta Connection carrier Pinnacle Airlines emerged from bankruptcy Wednesday and became a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

Pinnacle also plans to move its headquarters from Memphis to Minnesota by the end of this month.

Atlanta-based Delta last year gave Pinnacle $74.3 million in financing and said it would add to the Pinnacle fleet 40 CRJ-900 76-seat regional jets that it is buying from Bombardier Aerospace.

The airlines earlier this year reached the deal for Delta to own Pinnacle as a subsidiary with a separate operating certificate after Pinnacle’s Chapter 11 reorganization. Delta agreed to invest $52 million for Pinnacle’s emergence from bankruptcy.

Pinnacle has 4,900 employees, 181 regional jets and 1,000 daily flights around the country and in Canada. But at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, it carries less than 2 percent of the passengers.

(c)2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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Tags: delta air lines, pinnacle airlines

Photo credit: Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier jets in Delta's livery at Memphis International Airport. Daniel Betts / Flickr

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