A week before the aviation industry was prompted to conduct fleet-wide stabilizer inspections aboard MD80 aircraft, Spirit Airlines had already conducted the inspections to ensure the continued safety of its passengers in keeping with its rigorous maintenance practices. In its ten years as a scheduled air carrier, its fleet has a perfect safety record.
At the end of January, Spirit Airlines delayed flights and re-routed its fleet of 25 aircraft - consisting of 16 MD80’s and 9 DC9’s - to its Maintenance Operations facility at Detroit’s Metro Airport. Each jetliner was subjected to enhanced maintenance checks, which include the stabilizer inspection tests called for by Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board one week later. In an emergency Airworthiness Directive issued earlier today by the FAA, requiring a number of inspections within 72 hours, only one additional inspection had been added to what has already been accomplished.
Commenting on Spirit Airline’s move, Ned Homfeld President and CEO noted, “Passenger safety always comes first in our minds, so we didn’t wait for the industry to act. We ordered our own comprehensive inspections. We pride ourselves on our perfect safety record and highest possible maintenance standards for our fleet.”
The airline plans to have 100% of its fleet operating in scheduled service by tomorrow afternoon.