Spirit Airlines pilots go on strike

Spirit Airlines pilots go on strike

Over 400 pilots at US carrier Spirit Airlines have gone on strike after failing to reach an agreement with management over pay and benefits.

The five-day strike is due to end tomorrow (June 16) and was called by the Air Line Pilots Association.

Ben Baldanze, CEO of Spirit Airlines said: “We are frustrated and disappointed that our pilots have turned down an over 30 percent increase at a cost of over $70 million over five years while disrupting thousands of our customers and jeopardizing the livelihoods of our over 2,000 employees,”

John Prater, president of Air Line Pilots Association, said: “Spirit pilots are willing to withdraw their services to get the contract they deserve.

“I urge Spirit management to reconsider their position on the value of their experienced and professional airline pilots.”

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According to the ALPA, the strike comes after nearly four years of contract negotiations.

Captain Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of ALPA, said: “No one wanted this strike-certainly not this pilot group. We have sacrificed so much to see this company prosper. Now we are sacrificing our paychecks until we get a contract that reflects our contributions to this airline.

“This contract is not just for the pilots who currently fly for Spirit, right now. We have a responsibility to maintain our profession and pass down a legacy of a job worth having.”