Tentative Seniority List Agreement is Reached Between Southwest Airlines and AirTran Pilots
DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is pleased to announce a tentative agreement has been reached between the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), the union representing Southwest Airlines Pilots, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing the pilots of AirTran Airways. This tentative agreement would integrate the two groups’ seniority lists. SWAPA’s Board of Directors and ALPA’s Master Executive Council both approved the agreement, allowing the membership of each Pilot’s Union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc. on May 2, 2011.
“The unions and Company negotiating teams never lost focus on the ultimate goal of creating an integrated seniority list and transition plan for our Pilots outside of arbitration,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “All parties took ownership of their role in the integration of AirTran into Southwest Airlines, and I want to congratulate our teams for delivering what we feel is a fair and equitable deal for both sides.”
“We are proud of both Pilot groups’ initiative and persistence to reach a tentative agreement,” added Capt. Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations. “History has shown the integration of two large airlines is no easy task, but our Pilots continue to demonstrate forward-thinking Leadership through this process, and their efforts should be recognized and commended.”
Reaching a negotiated agreement with the two Pilot groups avoids the arbitration process and gives both groups ownership of the combined list. Each Pilot group will now spend the next four to six weeks reviewing the tentative agreement before putting it up for a ratification vote. SWAPA represents more than 6,000 Southwest Airlines Pilots, and ALPA represents close to 1,600 AirTran Pilots.
In its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers–offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 72 cities in 37 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines