Spirit Airlines to establish crew base in Las Vegas

A Spirit Airlines jet takes off from McCarran International Airport on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.

Spirit Airlines, McCarran International Airport’s fastest growing domestic air carrier in 2011, will open a Las Vegas crew base and a maintenance base early next year.

The Miramar, Fla.-based airline, a discount carrier known as much for its $9 Fare Club as its laundry list of fees that include a charge for carry-on bags, expanded rapidly at McCarran in the summer and announced earlier today that it would double its fleet of Airbus jets over the next four years.

The company said the new base would be home to more than 100 pilots and flight attendants and is expected to open by Feb. 1. Later in February, the airline plans to develop a maintenance base at McCarran.

Crew bases normally don’t mean the construction of new facilities, but using more space at the airport for employees to check in. They often lead to an airline’s employees moving to the base city.

Southwest Airlines has a flight attendant and pilot base in Las Vegas.

“We are thrilled to open a new crew base at McCarran International Airport as Spirit continues to bring on new aircraft and grow jobs in the markets we serve,” Spirit’s chief operating officer, Tony Lefebvre, said in a release announcing the bases.

Spirit is recruiting employees over the next few months and applications are being taken at the company’s website.

Earlier today, Spirit announced the signing of a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with Airbus Industrie to acquire 75 new twin-engine A320 jets. The new jets would in addition to the 33 aircraft not yet delivered under an existing Spirit order and would be scheduled for delivery from 2016 through 2021.

The company said the new aircraft would support targeted growth markets in the domestic United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Spirit has grown from 35 flights a week to and from Las Vegas a year ago to 147 a week today.

The airline offered flights between Las Vegas and Detroit and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport but expanded its western presence with flights between McCarran and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International, Oakland, San Diego and Portland, Ore.

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  1. GREAT!! I have had my eye on Spirit for about a year. I have heard that Spirit is somewhat uncomfortable and tight, with a list of different prices. Once they open to Mexico, I will board and buy what I need in Mexico, except for my Medication. For just a little get away. Hopefully a lot more countries will be affordable. YOU GO SPIRIT.