ALPA's Communications Department provides information and support for news media inquiries. An ALPA communications representative can be reached in the Herndon, Va. office at (703) 481-4440.

News Release

Release #03.005
January 31, 2003

Spirit Pilots and Management Reach a Tentative Contract Agreement by Proposed Deadline

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL --- The pilots of Spirit Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, reached a tentative agreement with management on a new labor contract, just hours before their current contractís amendable date.

"We made a commitment with management in December to try to reach a deal by the end of January and, after countless sessions at the bargaining table, we are pleased with the final result. Over the last two months, our team has negotiated night and day to ensure that the value our pilots add to this organization was realized in this contract proposal. Now, it is up to our pilots to determine where we go from here, " said Capt. David Sytsema, chairman of the Spirit pilotís Master Executive Council (MEC).

The Spirit pilotsí MEC leaders will meet early next week to assess the merits of this tentative agreement and determine whether to forward it to the pilots for a ratification vote. Results from this vote would be counted and made public before the end of February.

Spirit pilots and management began contract talks in August 2002, roughly five months prior to the Jan. 31, 2003 amendable date of the pilotsí previous contract. In December, Spirit management requested that the two parties double their efforts to negotiate an agreement by the January 31 deadline so that the company could pursue new sources of capital for the carrier. The two sides augmented the negotiating schedule with additional bargaining sessions to meet this goal.

ALPA President, Capt. Duane Woerth commented, "I congratulate the Spirit pilots and their management in reaching a timely agreement. The two parties worked in earnest, once again demonstrating the value and effectiveness of the negotiating process, as spelled out by the Railway Labor Act."

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Spirit Airlines is the largest privately held airline in the U.S. The Spirit pilots operate a fleet of MD-80 and DC-9 aircraft with 100 daily departures to destinations in the United States and the Caribbean.

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 66,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


ALPA CONTACT: John Perkinson, (703) 481-4440