Spirit Airline, pilots set to resume talks today

FORT LAUDERDALE — The head of the Air Line Pilots Association at Spirit Airlines said Monday new negotiations have been scheduled in a bid to settle a strike that began Saturday.

Talks will resume today, said Capt. Sean Creed, who represents about 500 pilots at the discount airline.

Pilots struck at 5 a.m. Saturday after three years of negotiations and help from federal mediators failed to narrow differences over how much pilots should be paid to reach parity with pilots at other low fare competitors.

It was the first significant strike in the airline industry in five years.

Spirit Airlines said it will cancel its flights scheduled for Wednesday, the fifth consecutive day in which the carrier will not fly.

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson confirmed in an e-mail to the Sun Sentinel that the airline’s 150 daily flights were scrubbed for June 16.

Union organizers said they’re hoping for a quick resolution.

“None of the pilots have crossed the picket line,” said Paul Hopkins, strike committee chairman of Spirit’s unit of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Spirit’s flight attendents, who are unionized, back the pilot strike.