Spirit Airlines will not involuntarily furlough any pilots in October when the CARES Act Payroll Support Program funding expires. The news comes just days after the company and the Air Line Pilots Association representing its pilots indicated that 117 positions were at risk.
The Company and ALPA have agreed to sign COVID 19 MOU # 8 which mitigates the 117 remaining furloughs and the associated downgrades that the Company intended to issue in August 2020 with an effective date of October 1, 2020. We want to thanks ALPA and the pilot group for their efforts to eliminate the need for a furlough on Oct 1, 2020.– Jim Jordan, Director, Crew Resources
Much of the mitigation comes in the form of pilots agreeing to voluntarily leaves, reducing the number of pilots bidding for the limited flight schedules that will be available in October and beyond. The company offered 1, 3, 6, and 8 month leaves starting in October, plus an additional 3-month stint for Q1 2021 to help reduce pressure on the staffing needs.
In addition to removing the remaining pending furloughs the agreement cancels downgrades and displacements set to take effect on October 1st.
The company initially expected that 600 of its 2600 pilots would be affected by furloughs when the PSP funding expired. ALPA and management negotiated that down to 117 as of late last week and now to zero.
Spirit joins JetBlue with plans for zero furloughs of pilots when the CARES Act PSP funding expires. The good news at Spirit comes on the same day as Delta Air Lines revised its furlough projections lower to just under 2000 pilots, but still far more than zero.
United Airlines and American Airlines are also expecting significant numbers of furloughed pilots and other crew when the CARES Act funding expires, potentially topping 60,000 employees across all work groups. Typically pilots are among the last to be trimmed from the rolls as getting them back into the flight deck comes with certification and training challenges.
ExpressJet also announced this morning that it would furlough or terminate the vast majority of its 2500 employees as it halts service on 30 September, owing to its sole customer United Airlines terminating its flying contract by the end of the year.
A favor to ask while you're here...
Did you enjoy the content? Or learn something useful? Or generally just think this is the type of story you'd like to see more of? Consider supporting the site through a donation (any amount helps). It helps keep me independent and avoiding the credit card schlock.