Celebrating Women in Aviation - Spirit Airlines PHL GM Rene Burrows

“I feel very lucky to be working with Spirit here in Philadelphia,” said Spirit Airlines’ PHL General Manager Rene Burrows. “We may be a smaller operation, but we are indeed making a name for ourselves. For that, I am proud to be on this team.”  

PHL has several women in leadership positions within the aviation industry, who like Burrows lead their respective airlines’ Philadelphia operations. As a General Manager, Burrows is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations to meet Spirit's performance goals, drive improvements, core values, and oversee manpower planning and staff development. Her ultimate goal is to ensure Spirit operates reliably and safely.   

During the pandemic, Spirit, like other airlines, has faced multiple challenges. However, Burrows believes Spirit’s leadership team was prepared and made proper operational decisions. “Not only did they keep us up and running, but we were also operating extremely safe, ensuring each and every team member was abiding by COVID-19 restrictions,” said Burrows. “Even though there were constant changes, I felt confident our team had the right players in position to allow our airline to return at full force!”   

Burrows has worked at PHL for over 15 years, nine of those years in managerial positions with Comair, US Airways, and American Airlines. Starting with a small airline like Comair taught her how to work both inside and out of the aircraft. She believes working at PHL is a great opportunity for both personal and professional reasons. “The airport is a fast-paced environment that allows me to engage with our traveling guests and create a smooth travel experience,” said Burrows. “I have learned so much and wouldn’t be where I am today without the ups and downs this industry presents.” 

Burrows recalls her first day of work as a Customer Service Manager many years ago. “I remember being so excited about all the new things I would learn and really have the chance to dive into the airline industry,” she said.  

Burrows is currently the chairperson for the Philadelphia Airlines Management Council (PAMC). The committee focuses on the growth of every company and airline at PHL. “I am pleased to be part of this committee, the camaraderie is instrumental to an overall successful operation,” she said.  

This Women’s History Month, PHL celebrates all the accomplishments women in the aviation industry have made throughout history. We celebrate Burrows and all the other strong women within the industry.  

 “Women’s history month is a time to recognize the women that made a difference. When I reflect on where we as women are today, I can’t help but think of the characteristics it takes to outshine during difficult times,” said Burrows. “These women have found ways to make a difference whether it was through songs, words, or their actions, they have been known to overcome difficult times by knocking down walls or simply standing their ground. Their focuses were not selfish but merely devoted to doing the right thing so that others would have a clear path to move forward in their lives.” 


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Heather Redfern
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