Spirit Airlines cancels flights Thursday across U.S., Tampa for fifth day in a row

Florida-based Spirit Airlines entered its fifth consecutive day of widespread cancellations Thursday, a day after assuring passengers that the cancellations would "start dropping tomorrow" as it reboots its operation.

In a statement Wednesday, an airline spokesperson said:

"After working through yesterday’s proactive cancellations, we’ve implemented a more thorough reboot of the network, allowing us to reassign our crews more efficiently and restore the network faster. As a result, cancellation numbers will progressively drop in the days to come."

As of Thursday morning, Spirit had already canceled 353 flights, or 45% of its operations. This included five scheduled departures and four scheduled arrivals at Tampa International Airport. Thursday's number of cancellations is not far below those seen Wednesday and Thursday, when Spirit cancelled more than 400 flights per day, more than 60% of its operation.

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Since Sunday, the budget airline has canceled more than 1,300 flights as it deals with a series of issues, including staffing shortages and tech outages ahead of a busy summer travel weekend. The TSA reported screening a pandemic-era record number of passengers last weekend.

"We’ve got a lot of people traveling through the airport right now," TPA spokeswoman Emily Nipps told FOX 13 News earlier this week. "It’s been a very busy summer and the airlines have been trying to keep up with the demand. The airports are trying to keep up with the demand."

Earlier in the week, summer storms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area led the much larger American Airlines to cancel hundreds of flights, although its operations have since stabilized.

"There is a labor shortage going on so we just ask everybody to stay patient with some of the issues we're working out. We’re hoping we can iron all this out come fall," Nipps said.

Spirit is recommending that passengers check their email for updated flight information and said travelers should check flight status before heading to the airport.