MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities-based air carrier is going out of business, putting 12,000 people out of work.

Compass Airlines plans to cease operations on April 7. The regional airline operates planes for Delta and American.

“To me this is downright scary,” said Mark, a pilot recruiter who was laid off last week.

Compass Airlines was already in a precarious situation; Delta had informed them they were going to eventually pull out their contract. Though the airline thought they could sustain themselves, COVID-19 ultimately hit them hard.

Compass Airlines tells WCCO it was a difficult decision but one that had to be made. Mark and hundreds of pilots and flight attendants have some decisions to make as well.

“There’s just this kind of black void of what have I stepped into and when will it get better. And this drastic reality of having to look for something to put food on the table and pay a mortgage while we wait for an airline industry to bounce back,” said Mark.

The airline will end its Delta flights on March 31. Their American Airlines flights will end April 7.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield