Spirit Airlines is just the first major US airline to recruit pilots and flight attendants since the pandemic began.
Spirit Airlines is hiring!
As reported by CNBC, the ultra-low-cost airline Spirit Airlines is again hiring various functions, including pilots and flight attendants:
- Spirit plans to resume training for new pilots and flight attendants as early as March 2021
- The airline last trained a new class of pilots in May 2020 and most recently a new class of flight attendants in February 2020
If you go to the Spirit Airlines careers page you will see all of the vacancies available, including first officers and flight attendants, mostly for the Fort Lauderdale base.
Spirit Airlines hopes that demand will recover significantly in the summer. The airline can only train so many pilots and flight attendants at the same time, which is why hiring is starting now. This way the training can be done in phases.
Spirit Airlines avoided involuntary vacation days of unionized employees during the pandemic through a combination of reduced working hours, voluntary leave of absence and voluntary early retirement.
In addition to hiring new employees, the airline is also recalling some of the workers who were on vacation.
The very optimistic outlook from Spirit Airlines
How exactly is Spirit Airlines able to lease while some other airlines only fly those with more than 20 years of service?
Well, Spirit Airlines has a much more optimistic outlook than other airlines, and maybe for good reason. In general, when demand recovers, vacation travel will recover first, and domestic vacation travel in particular. Spirit Airlines is very well positioned for this as the airline does not rely on business travel.
Perhaps the airline is overconfident though – Spirit Airlines expects it will be back to 2019 capacity levels by the summer. Of course, it should be recognized that capacity levels differ from passenger numbers, but on the other hand, the airline will not add capacity if the planes are empty.
And who knows, maybe the airline isn’t too far away. People are no doubt excited to travel when we see widespread vaccines, although realistically I think the greatest recreational recreation will be in late summer rather than early summer.
Spirit Airlines is the first major US airline to employ pilots and flight attendants since the beginning of the pandemic. This is in addition to the recall of many workers who had taken vacation.
This is an exciting development that indicates things are moving in the right direction in the industry. Spirit will likely recover faster than the legacy airlines that rely on business travel and long-haul international networks.
Perhaps the airline is still a little optimistic about planning capacity for 2019 through early summer. Sure, maybe the airline can offer this type of capacity, but I would argue that it is highly unlikely to be possible in a profitable manner.
What do you think of the optimistic attitude and attitude of Spirit?