Airline to move headquarters to state with a little life left in it

It was the battle of the perceived business-friendly state vs. the perceived business-unfriendly state today. And the business unfriendly state won.

Pinnacle Airlines, the corporate head of a group of smaller airlines that fly regional flights for big airlines, announced today it’s moving its headquarters from Memphis to Minnesota.

Pinnacle is coming out of bankruptcy.

“We had the responsibility to explore every aspect of our business to find opportunities to reduce costs, including evaluating our property leases, to find the most economical options for Pinnacle,” said John Spanjers, president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines said in the press release. “Our analysis covered everything from the available labor pool and operational alignment to economic incentives. Both Memphis and the State of Minnesota presented very strong cases. In the end, it was an economic decision.”

It makes sense. There are many more flights out of MSP than Memphis. Various analysts have suggested Delta is in the process of getting rid of its Memphis hub.

That’s got to hurt a state like Tennessee, named last year as the fourth-best state for business. Minnesota finished 36th on that list.

The announcement today comes a little more than a year after Pinnacle moved Mesaba Airlines’ headquarters from Minneapolis to Memphis.