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Spirit Airways, pilots attain settlement to keep away from 600 trip days

A Spirit Airlines jet lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25, 2020.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

The Spirit Airlines pilots' union reached an agreement with the company on Tuesday to avoid involuntary vacation days for around 600 pilots if federal aid helps protect airline jobs expires in October.

About half of Spirit's 2,500 pilots would work fewer hours. This will reduce costs and help the company avoid involuntary cuts, said the Air Line Pilots Association, their union.

Spirit had said there could be about 2,500 people vacationing across the company, but "the real number will be a small fraction of that," thanks to volunteers who signed up for voluntary vacations.

On Tuesday earlier, American Airlines announced that it would cut 19,000 jobs in October – including 1,600 of its 15,000 pilots – unless more federal aid is granted.

Thanks to a cost-cutting agreement between the company and its pilots union, JetBlue Airways pilots are expected to avoid vacation until at least May. Southwest Airlines has announced that it will not be taking workers off leave this year as so many have opted for voluntary leave or takeovers.

Delta Air Lines and its pilots union argue over possible solutions to avoid job losses. The Atlanta-based airline announced on Monday that it would take 1,941 pilots off in the fall unless the two parties agree on a plan.

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