February 24, 2024

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Spirit Airlines is offering buyouts to salaried employees

Spirit Airlines is offering buyouts to salaried employees
  • Spirit offers voluntary exit packages for employees to cut back on spending.
  • The airline also temporarily halted training for pilots and flight attendants to cut costs.
  • Spirit faces weak off-peak demand and grounded planes due to a Pratt & Whitney engine manufacturing problem.

A Spirit Airlines plane takes off at Los Angeles International Airport on June 1, 2023.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

Spirit Airlines is offering voluntary exit packages to salaried employees, the latest cost-cutting measure by the budget carrier as it expects financial pressures to continue next year.

The airline is facing weak off-peak demand and said last month it would have to ground an average of 26 Airbus A320neo planes to inspect engines made by its RTX Pratt & Whitney unit after that company revealed a manufacturing defect in August, straining its capacity. .

“The past few months have been a testament to our resilience and dedication as a company, but we must return to profitability, which will require a series of difficult decisions,” CEO Ted Christie said in a memo to employees on Wednesday, which I reviewed. CNBC.

CNBC reported last month that the airline had already temporarily halted training for new pilots and flight attendants. It has also tightened expense budgets and modified its network, including a plan to move out of Denver.

“Now, we are taking the next difficult step — activating a voluntary early exit program for salaried team members,” Christie wrote in the memo. The company had a similar plan during the height of the Covid pandemic. “Based on the success of that plan, we are implementing a similar set of opportunities to help us right-size our organization with our existing fleet and business constraints.”

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JetBlue Airways is trying to acquire Spirit, a deal the Justice Department has already sued to block through a trial scheduled to conclude in the coming days in Boston.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the Spirit Airlines acquisitions earlier Wednesday