Express Airlines I Now Pinnacle
Memphis-based Northwest Airlines subsidiary Express Airlines I on May 8 officially changed its name to Pinnacle Airlines ahead of an initial public offering expected to raise $400 million. Expected to issue its IPO within the next month, Pinnacle recently reported a 46.9-percent increase in passengers and a 97.4-percent increase in revenue passenger miles for the first quarter, resulting in a load-factor increase of 11.6 points, to 64 percent. As a result, on June 11 it plans to reinstate a fourth bank of flights from its Memphis hub, which the airline dropped soon after September 11 to help effect a 25-percent drop in capacity. At press time flying 36 Bombardier CRJs and 14 Saab 340s from Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis, Pinnacle plans to transfer the rest of its turboprop fleet to fellow Northwest Airlines affiliate Mesaba Airlines by the end of the year. It holds firm orders for another 47 forty-four- and fifty-seat CRJs.