Spirit reaches tentative deal to possibly end pilot strike

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Spirit Airlines has moved a step closer to ending its five-day pilot strike after management reached a tentative deal with negotiators from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

Fed up after nearly four years of negotiations without reaching agreement on a new contract, Spirit's pilots on 12 June commenced a strike that has forced the carrier to suspend all its flights for the last five days. On 15 June the carrier said flights would remain grounded through 17 June.

In a brief statement Spirit's ALPA unit says the tentative deal satisfies the negotiator's goals, "but additional details still need to be worked out regarding important return to work issues".

The union says it aims to give Spirit pilots an additional update "with further news that will be positive. However, until all provisions are completed, we remain on strike".

Prior to the latest round of negotiations that began on 15 June, Spirit management said it had offered pilots a compound average 29% pay increase over the next five years at a cost of $70 million.