Spirit Airlines doesn’t expect to resume normal operations until the middle of next week. Nevertheless, Spirit CEO Ted Christie says its network recovery plan is working.
Spirit had canceled 43% of its Friday schedule by the late afternoon, down from a final cancellation percentage of 56% on Aug. 5, according to FlightAware. Each of those numbers represent improvements over Spirit’s cancellation rates on Aug. 3 and 4, both of which were slightly more than 60%.
Christie said he expects Spirit’s cancellation rate to improve over the weekend before reaching normal by the middle of next week.
The Spirit CEO attributed this week’s operational meltdown to a monthlong buildup of weather-related operational difficulties. Weather-related delays, he said, led to an increasing number of crew members getting dislocated and being unable to fly their assigned trips. Ultimately, the carrier was overwhelmed and unable to keep up.
“Our primary objective right now is taking care of our guests’ team members and getting our operation back to where we want it to be,” Christie said. “To our guests, I am truly sorry. We’ve spent years investing in the reliable, on-time experience you’ve come to expect with Spirit, and this week we fell short. We’re going to do everything we can to earn back your loyalty.”
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