Miramar, Florida-based Spirit Airlines decided it likes the Volunteer State’s spirit and has decided to move its control center to Williamson County.
The company said it will move more than 240 team tembers from its operational control center (OCC) in Miramar to a nearly 49,000-square-foot facility in Williamson County.
Escaping Florida’s hurricanes and tropical storms was one factor cited, as well as preparing for expansion. The move should be completed by early 2021, and Spirit said it also plans to add nearly 100 more positions at the OCC over the next five years.
Spirit twice moved the OCC’s employees out of state temporarily during hurricanes — once to Detroit during Irma in 2017 and once to Atlanta during Dorian in 2019, the Miami Herald reported.
The OCC controls round-the-clock flight operations for more than 650 flights each day across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Team members are responsible for flight dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, aircraft routing, air traffic control coordination, Guest solutions and more.
Gov. Bill Lee said, “I’d like to welcome Spirit Airlines to Tennessee and thank their team for being one of the latest companies to call our state home. Last year, Tennessee was for the first time named the number one best fiscally managed state in the country.”
The company said it picked Franklin also because of its geographic location, business climate and growing aviation sector. Spirit started Nashville service in October 2019 with new nonstop flights to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS), New Orleans (MSY), Orlando (MCO) and Tampa (TPA). Soon, Nashville will gain nonstop flights to Austin (AUS), Newark (EWR), Los Angeles (LAX) and Cancun (CUN).
More than 700 of Spirit’s Miramar-based Team members will move into the airline’s new corporate headquarters scheduled to open near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2022. The airline also plans to add an additional 225 positions at the new HQ to support Spirit’s expanding domestic and international operations.
Spirit also is doubling its all-Airbus fleet to about 300 aircraft over the next five years. The airline recently finalized an order for the delivery of 100 new Airbus A320neo Family Aircraft through 2027.
Ted Christie, president and CEO of Spirit, said, “We are committed to our South Florida community, and Florida’s Hometown Airline will continue to create new jobs by supporting our international network and fleetwide training needs from our Broward County home. At the same time, we look forward to building on our plans for future expansion and protecting our growing 24/7 operation by starting this new chapter in Nashville.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.