Spirit Airlines to defer Airbus orders, furlough pilots

Spirit Airlines to defer Airbus orders, furlough pilots

Monday, 08 Apr, 2024 0

Struggling Spirit Airlines plans to defer deliveries of new Airbus jets and will furlough hundreds of pilots to safeguard liquidity.

Airbus orders will be deferred, it says.

These were due for delivery from mid-2025 through the end of 2026.

This will buy the airline some time to boost its finances.

It will now take delivery of them in 2030 and 2031.

It all has some planes due for delivery in 2027 through 2029, Spirit said.

“These steps are necessary to ensure a strong and profitable future for Spirit,” CEO Ted Christie said.

These measures boost its liquidity by around $340 million over the next two years.

“Deferring these aircraft gives us the opportunity to reset the business while we adjust to changes in the competitive environment,” Christie said.

Spirit will furlough about 260 pilots from September.

The airline is closing its Atlantic City crew base and staff will be reassigned elsewhere.

The airline has been affected by grounded Airbus jets due to the issues with Pratt & Whitney engines.

It is being compensated for the groundings through the end of 2024.

The planned acquisition by JetBlue fell through after being blocked in January.

The Air Line Pilots Association said it will seek volunteers to limit the number of pilot furloughs.

“Coupled with the retirement of our A319 fleet and the ongoing Pratt & Whitney GTF engine issue, the airline finds itself with more pilots than its operations require,” said Ryan Muller, chairman of the Spirit ALPA chapter. 

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Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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