Release #08.SPA2
August 12, 2008

Spirit Pilots Respond to Recent Flight Cancellations

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The following statement is from union leaders for the pilots of Spirit Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), in response to allegations by the company that cancellations of its flights are the fault of its pilots.

“The situation at Spirit Airlines has been deteriorating, and today’s flight cancellations are just one more indication of management’s inability to manage its operations effectively during this turbulent time for the airline industry. Despite management’s attempt to pin the blame on pilots for recent flight cancellations, a more accurate explanation can be placed on management’s decision to downsize the pilot group by 30 percent without corresponding adjustments in its fleet and flight schedule.

“In mid-July, the company announced that it had furloughed 45 pilots with an additional 70-plus pilots to be furloughed in September. However, the company has yet to scale back its operations or number of flights to compensate for the loss of pilots. In order to cover the gap, Spirit management has chosen to violate its contract with the pilots by refusing to obey by staffing and scheduling provisions.

“Management’s new rules have left most Spirit pilots maxed-out on the number of flight hours they can fly under Federal law. It has also made it nearly impossible for pilots to take on additional flying that would satisfy the number of flights operated by Spirit Airlines.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 55,000 cockpit crew members at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit for more information.

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ALPA CONTACTS: Art Luby (571) 236-3523; Doug Baj, (703) 481-4456,