The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $146,500 fine against Spirit Airlines, alleging violations of the Department of Transportation (DoT) Hazardous Materials Regulations on transporting dangerous cargo. 

The fine covers five shipments containing compressed oxygen cylinders handled by Spirit between August and September 2022 which the regulator alleges were not processed properly and handled by people without the required training. 

According to the FAA, one of the shipments was also rejected by FedEx, which was meant to ship the cylinders, after employees in Detroit found the package was damaged, was not labelled correctly, and did not adhere to Flame Penetration Resistance Tests. 

The cylinders, which were shipped between Detroit and New York, were also allegedly handled by Spirit staff who had not completed necessary hazardous materials training needed to use the DoT special permit. 

News of the proposed civil penalty against Spirit, which has 30 days to respond to the FAA’s allegations, will be particularly unwelcome for the struggling airline as it recently abandoned a multi-billion-dollar merger with JetBlue after the move was knocked down by a District Court judge in January. 

Since a massive drop in price after the acquisition was blocked by the judge, Spirit’s shares have continued to struggle and remain 71% where they were at the beginning of the year.

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