(RTTNews) - Ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has reached an agreement with its pilots regarding a job-preserving program. With this, the company has canceled the 600 planned furloughs with immediate effect.
The Air Line Pilots Association, Intl. or ALPA, which represents the Miramar, Florida-based airline's pilots, in a statement said nearly half of the more than 2,500 Spirit pilots have agreed to temporarily work fewer hours each month beginning October 1. This would prevent 800 pilots from being furloughed.
Capt. Scott Vallach, chairman of ALPA's Spirit Airlines Master Executive Council, said, "At a time where airlines struggle to keep pace with the ever-changing demand for air travel and airline crews struggle to keep themselves and their families healthy, Spirit Airlines pilots and management worked together to reach an agreement that mitigates the remaining furloughs planned for October 2020."
With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the travel and tourism industry, Spirit Airlines, along with other four U.S. airlines, in July had signed agreements with the U.S. Department of the Treasury on the loan terms under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.
ALPA, the largest airline pilot union representing nearly 63,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines, said that in the United States, more than 11,000 airline pilots have already received notices of potential furlough.
According to the union, other ALPA pilot groups are also exploring various furlough mitigation plans that could preserve as many jobs as possible until the industry recovers.
The positive news from Spirit Airlines comes at a time when American Airlines Group Inc. announced plans to cut about 19,000 employees in October when the US federal aid expires, including thousands of pilots. In June, American Airlines had warned its around 25,000 employees, which comes to about 20% of its total workforce, about the possibility of furloughs.
Another airline, Delta Airlines, reportedly plans to furlough more than 1900 pilots in October. Citing an internal memo to employees, the reports stated that Delta has about 11,200 pilots under its payroll, and not more than 9,450 of them are needed even during the peak flying period for the next 12-18 months.