Spirit Airlines pilots go on strike; company cancels Saturday flights

By Joshua Freed, AP
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spirit Airlines pilots strike

Spirit Airlines pilots went on strike on Saturday, and the company immediately canceled all of its flights for the day.

The walkout and cancellations were expected to affect thousands of travelers. Spirit flies from several airports in the eastern U.S., through Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to points in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Talks were extended past a midnight deadline, but the pilots announced the walkout on a hot line message at 5:30 a.m. EDT. The company confirmed the strike and announced it was canceling its Saturday flights on its website.

“Spirit Airlines is continuing to work with our pilot union to reach a fair and equitable agreement that ensures the long-term stability of the company,” the company said on its website.

Spirit said it was refunding fares for Saturday flights plus a $100 credit toward future flights.

Privately-held Spirit runs roughly 150 flights a day, making it much smaller than major carriers like Delta Air Lines Inc., with 6,200.

Spirit pilots have said their pay lags that of competitors.

The airline is based in Miramar, Fla.

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