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Delta training centers to move

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Wed Jun 08 2011

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Delta Air Lines said Tuesday that it will move its flight attendant training center, pilot training center, flight simulator facilities and some technical support teams from the Twin Cities area to Atlanta.

Early estimates are that a few hundred positions from facilities in Eagan and at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will move to Atlanta, where Delta is based, an airline spokeswoman said. Jobs will be available for all the employees who are interested in relocating, Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson told employees Tuesday.

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"During the last month, we have talked about rapidly rising fuel prices and added cost pressures as a new reality that is a permanent part of our business," Anderson said in a memo. "Therefore, we must permanently change our business to maintain consistent profits even in a permanent high fuel cost environment."

Delta has 12,000 employees and subsidiary positions in Minnesota, close to the state employee levels for Eagan-based Northwest Airlines in 2008, when Delta acquired it and became the Twin Cities' dominant airline.

In order to close the airport facilities, Delta must pay back $175 million in outstanding debt on a $300 million loan made by the Metropolitan Airports Commission to Northwest in 1992, according to Pat Hogan, a spokesman for the airports commission, which runs the Twin Cities airport.

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