Spirit Airlines pauses training for new pilots and cabin crew after difficult quarter and Pratt engine problem

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Spirit Airlines will suspend training for new pilots and flight attendants next month ” until further notice “according to the company’s notes, because it plans a slower growth in a context of weaker demand and the expected immobilization of dozens of planes for inspections due to a manufacturing problem with certain engines of the Airbus planes.

The company had already slowed down recruitment and captain upgrades, Greg Christopher, Spirit’s vice president of flight operations, said in a memo to pilots Thursday. “However, given these recent developments, we will also be suspending all new employee training efforts beginning in November until further notice. »

The company told flight attendants it would stop the news flight attendant training from November 7. It also plans to offer voluntary leave to members of the cabin crewaccording to a separate memo from Tina Milton, vice president of flight experience.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but is necessary to ensure our crew complement levels match our operational needs given the number of aircraft we can fly.”, a spokesperson said in a statement. The Miramar, Fla.-based discount carrier said it expects to have to ground an average 26 Airbus A320neo for inspections of engines manufactured by RTXa unit Pratt & Whitney after that company revealed a manufacturing defect in August. The carrier said it expects 13 planes are nailed to the ground in January, to reach 41 in December next year. The airline had a fleet of 202 Airbus aircraft as of September 30.

“This expectation results in a dramatic reduction in the company’s near-term growth forecasts”, Spirit said in a statement. It said it expects capacity to be stable next year compared to 2023. The airline is in talks with RTX about compensation for this issue. Last month, RTX said it expected repairs take between 250 and 300 days, with an average of 350 aircraft grounded worldwide between 2024 and 2026.

As a reminder, JandBlue Airways is in the process of trying to acquire Spirit, a deal the Justice Department has already tried to block. The trial is expected to begin next week in Boston.

John Walker Avatar