As of June 2010, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. owned both Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. and Colgan Air, Inc. The Pinnacle pilot group had been in Section 6 bargaining for almost six years and the Colgan pilots had begun negotiations for their first contract after certifying ALPA in late 2008. In July 2010, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. purchased Mesaba Aviation, Inc., from Delta Airlines. The Mesaba pilots were in the middle of a bankruptcy contract and were not scheduled to begin Section 6 bargaining until 2012.
At the time of the purchase, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. announced the intent to merge the three carriers into two, a jet-only carrier and a prop-only carrier. After the acquisition of Mesaba was announced, the three MECs began coordinating on a plan to make the planned merger work in a fashion that would protect pilot careers and resolve the outstanding contract issues at all three carriers. Accordingly, the three pilot groups entered joint negotiations with the company in the fall of 2010 for the purpose of negotiating a single collective bargaining agreement covering all three carriers.
The parties engaged in expedited bargaining through the fall of 2010, reaching a tentative agreement in December of that year. The agreement (the JCBA) was ratified by all three pilot groups and became effective in February 2011. Once a ratified agreement was in place, the Merger Committees began work on creating an Integrated Seniority List (ISL) for the three carriers. The final ISL award was issued by Arbitrator Richard Bloch in June 2011.
Through the summer of 2011, negotiations continued on additional amendments to the contract and, specifically, relief related to the training costs associated with elimination of the Delta Connection Saab fleet.
In November 2011, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. announced the intent to restructure its business outside of bankruptcy. Following a presentation by Pinnacle management to the MEC in December, the parties entered concessionary bargaining, a process that ended in February 2012 without an agreement.
On April 1, 2012, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in New York. In the filing, Pinnacle stated that it reached an agreement with Delta to amend and extend its agreements for the CRJ 200 and 900 jet operations and that it intended to eliminate the code share agreements with United Airlines and USAirways, covering all of the prop flying. The company also announced its plan to eliminate the Atlanta CRJ 900 operation. The Company has announced its intent to furlough 450 pilots in conjunction with the fleet reductions.