Spirit Airlines will open a new crew base at Chicago O'Hare International airport on 1 June, says the Florida-based carrier.
The move comes as Spirit expands into large airports outside its Fort Lauderdale base, like Chicago, Detroit and Dallas.
Chicago will be the base for some 140 employees, including pilots, flight attendants and mechanics, Spirit says. The airline will hold an open house on 3 May and 4 May near Chicago to recruit employees to be based there.
"As Spirit continues to expand our operations and bring on new aircraft, we are excited to open a new crew base at O'Hare and add quality local jobs in the Chicago area," says Spirit chief executive Ben Baldanza in a statement.
Spirit once operated nearly entirely out of Fort Lauderdale, but now has 215 weekly flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, 175 weekly flights from Las Vegas and 149 weekly flights from Chicago O'Hare, according to Innovata schedules.
The airline expects to acquire five sharklet-equipped Airbus A320s in 2013, seven in 2014 and 10 in 2015, and executives say many of those aircraft will be delivered at the same time as leases on old aircraft expire.
Spirit's all-Airbus fleet includes 29 A319s, 18 A320s and two A321s.