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A Major U.S. Airline Is Furloughing 260 Pilots Amid Cost Concerns, Aircraft Delays Spirit Airlines is deferring some aircraft delivery by four to five years.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

Spirit Airlines revealed on Monday that it would be furloughing roughly 260 pilots and deferring the delivery of aircraft from Q2 2025 through 2026 until at least 2030 to save money after a rough fiscal year.

The airline estimates that the furloughs will help increase the company's liquidity value by $340 million through 2026. Aircraft deliveries scheduled for 2027 through 2029 will proceed as planned.

Furloughs will be effective beginning on September 1, 2024.

Related: Spirit to Pay Up to $8.25 Million Over 'Gotcha' Bag Fees

"This amendment to our agreement with Airbus is an important part of Spirit's comprehensive plan to bolster profitability and strengthen our balance sheet," said Ted Christie, president and CEO of Spirit in a company release. "Deferring these aircraft gives us the opportunity to reset the business and focus on the core airline while we adjust to changes in the competitive environment. In addition, enhancing our liquidity provides us additional financial stability as we position the Company for a return to profitability."

In Q4 of 2023, the airline saw a net loss of $183.7 million, ending fiscal 2023 with revenue dropping 5% to $1.32 billion.

Related: Spirit Airlines Is the Latest Meme Stock Amid 131% Spike

"The Spirit team is 100% clear and focused on the adjustments we are currently deploying and will continue to make throughout 2024 to drive us back to cash flow generation and profitability," Christie said at the time.

The airline also had delivery issues with its engine provider, Pratt & Whitney.

In January, a federal judge blocked Spirit's attempted mega-merger with JetBlue, which was estimated to have been worth around $3.8 billion after the U.S. Department of Justice argued that the merger would harm competition in the aviation sector.

Spirit Airlines was down over 74% in a one-year period as of Tuesday afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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