Still smarting from having to cancel more than 2,800 flights over a two-week period – a combination of staff shortages, technical problems and weather challenges – Spirit Airlines said it will reduce the number of flights through the end of September to better manage its issues.
The low-budget carrier made the announcement late Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Spirit said continued staffing issues were the impetus for its decision to scale back on the number of flights it will offer over the next six weeks.
Airlines across the country are suffering from staff shortages, with one, Southwest, even resorting to bonuses to current employees for recruitment of new workers.
“To enhance network stability in light of continuing airport staffing shortages, the company has elected to make tactical schedule reductions throughout the remainder of the third quarter,” management said in a statement.
Field Sutton, an airline spokesman, called the adjustments “small” and said they will not lead to any major changes in Spirit’s domestic and international networks.
“We are making small adjustments to our schedule to enhance network stability in light of continuing airport staffing shortages and to ensure we meet the needs of our guests,” he said in an emailed statement. “These schedule adjustments will not result in any sizable reduction in service or elimination of cities served within our network.”
Spirit said it has also seen a rise in customers canceling reservations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“The company is also experiencing increased close-in guest cancellations and softer-than-expected booking trends for the quarter, which are believed to be related to rising case counts of COVID-19,” the SEC filing said, “and some amount of short-term brand impact from the irregular operations.”
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