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Before the merger by JetBlue, Spirit Airlines pilots demanded a raise

Jet Blue & Sprit airlines

JetBlue Airways officially acquired Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in late July after pursuing the low-cost airline for several months. Everything is still pending regulatory approval from the government, but it seems Spirit’s pilots aren’t gambling on whether they’ll get it or on the outcome of the eventual merger between the two airlines under the JetBlue name.

According to a Forbes report, Spirit’s pilots’ union will begin negotiating for a raise as early as Tuesday, September 6. The talks were confirmed by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and according to a source who spoke to Forbes, “Pilots are plainly hoping for large salary rises.”

Spirit ALPA Chapter Chair Captain Ryan Muller said in a statement, “Provide better wages, working conditions and career opportunities. We look forward to entering into formal negotiations to curb turnover and implement the improvements needed to make Spirit a career destination airline.”

The article stated that although Spirit pilots had the foresight to negotiate merger protections in a prior contract that was signed in 2018, this action would give captains and co-pilots more protection if and when the merger goes through. There are 3,000 pilots employed by the airline. Additionally, it prevents a protracted future negotiation with JetBlue. On March 1, 2023, ALPA’s present agreement with Spirit will become amendable, however a provision provides for 180-day negotiations before that.

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