Compass Airlines, a contract carrier which flies for Delta as Delta Connection, will move its flight operations to the West Coast from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, taking more than 100 Twin Cities-based jobs with it.
Employees were informed this week. The move is supposed to be complete by the end of the year.
A company spokeswoman said the move made sense geographically because Compass’ flight routes are primarily along the West Coast.
“As Minneapolis is not geographically situated to provide support to West Coast operations, we had to look at where it made sense for our crew members and mechanics to be based,” spokeswoman Stacey Putnam Ross said in an e-mail. “All Minneapolis pilots, flight attendants and mechanics will be given the opportunity to transfer to one of our other locations. However, our corporate headquarters will remain in Minneapolis.”
Ross did not provide a specific number of jobs that will be transferred.
“As a privately held company, Compass does not publicly release employment data by location,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA told the Star Tribune that the transfer would include more than 100 flight attendants.
The union’s top officer at Compass, Michael Nelson, said the union “will work through our collective bargaining agreement to minimize the impact to flight attendants and their families affected by the company’s decision.”
Delta Air Lines said the move would not change flights out of MSP and that customers would not notice the change with Compass moving.
One ameliorating factor for the local economy is that pilots and flight attendants often do not live where their jobs are based, said flight attendant union spokeswoman Anna Taylor Garland. Some of the people being transferred do not live in the Twin Cities and those who do might find a way to commute to the West Coast, Garland said.
Compass relocated its corporate headquarters to Minneapolis in 2009. Since 2010 it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings. Compass also flies for American Airlines as American Eagle.
“It’s never a good day when you lose jobs,” said Bill Blazar, a senior vice president with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “Minneapolis St. Paul Airport jobs are an important contributor to the state’s economy. This was purely a business decision and I respect it. But we all might take a moment to think if we can do anything better.”