spirit

Spirit Airlines, one of the top commercial airlines in the country, is bringing its Operations Control Center to Williamson County.

The move was announced today in a joint release from Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Spirit Airlines.

The company plans to bring with it 345 jobs and invest $11 million in the move — 240 of the jobs will be relocations from Florida and the other 100 will come as hires in the county.

It’s unclear whether Spirit Airlines received any state tax incentives in the move, but historically operations this size have gotten around $1 million in incentives from the state. Nathan Zipper with Williamson Inc. says Williamson County did not provide any incentives and that it was unclear where the company would be located in the county.

The decision to make the move happened quickly — Spirit met with Williamson Inc. in December after an introduction from Doug Kreulen, the president and CEO of the Nashville International Airport. Kreulen is also on Williamson Inc.'s board of directors.

Zipper says part of the consideration for moving out of Florida and into a state like Tennessee was weather — hurricanes aren't exactly the best environment for a flight control center.

The Operation Control Center directs control for all Spirit flights and includes flight dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, aircraft routing, air traffic control coordination and more.

“We are proud that Spirit Airlines has chosen Williamson County as the new home for their Operations Control Center,” said Rogers Anderson, Williamson County Mayor. “We look forward to welcoming them to our community and doing all we can to support their mission critical work.”

Spirit also plans to double its all-Airbus fleet to about 300 aircraft over the next five years. The airline is the seventh-largest commercial airline in the U.S. and the fastest growing. It operates more than 650 flights a day to 77 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. It recently entered the Nashville market in October 2019 with nonstop flights to Baltimore/Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa. Spirit will also begin service from Nashville to Austin, Cancun, Newark and Los Angeles in the coming months.

Matt Blois contributed to this report.

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