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Spirit Airlines, pilots reach an accord

Associated Press / June 17, 2010

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Spirit Airlines made a deal with its pilots yesterday that will end their strike, and the airline said it would fly again starting tomorrow.

The strike won’t officially end until pilots sign a back-to-work agreement, the union said.

“I think our people will be more than willing to assist the company in getting itself back together and fully operational as soon as we possibly can,’’ said Sean Creed, a Spirit captain and head of the Air Line Pilots Association unit there.

Spirit carries roughly 16,000 passengers per day, or about 1 percent of the nation’s air traffic. From Boston it has five daily flights, to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Atlantic City, and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Spirit pilots had been negotiating for more than three years before the strike started Saturday morning. The union said first officers in particular lagged their counterparts at other discount airlines like JetBlue Airways Corp. and Airtran Airways.