Regional News Update: Delta seeks break from Pinnacle

 - July 8, 2008, 9:53 AM

Delta Air Lines notified Pinnacle Airlines last month that it intends to dissolve their Delta Connection contract effective July 31. Delta cited Memphis-based Pinnacle’s failure to meet contractually guaranteed on-time performance rates for its decision. In late May a federal judge blocked Delta’s attempts to end its contract with Mesa Air Group’s Freedom Airlines subsidiary for the same stated reason. That injunction required Delta to restore all of Mesa’s Delta Connection flying by June 30.

Pinnacle began flying for Delta under a new capacity purchase agreement last December and, according to Pinnacle CEO Phil Trenary, Delta failed to collaborate with Pinnacle on a mutually acceptable schedule as required under their contract. “We believe that the attempt by Delta to terminate this contract is wrongful, and we intend to pursue appropriate remedies,” said Trenary. Flying for Delta from its Atlanta hub, Pinnacle so far has placed into service nine of the 16 Bombardier CRJ900s specified under the agreement.