Last updated: 01:04 PM ET, Wed August 31 2016

Southwest Airlines and Pilot Association Reach Tentative Agreement

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | August 31, 2016

Southwest Airlines and Pilot Association Reach Tentative Agreement

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

On Monday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) announced it had reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the airline.

Negotiations have been ongoing for four years and mediated talks have taken place for the last 10 months, but the deal isn’t completed just yet. Details about the language used in the agreement will be hammered out this week, and SWAPA will meet in September to review the offer.

If the agreement is ratified, the SWAPA membership vote would take place in early November.

“While a new contract is certainly not a done deal, this is the next step in the process,” SWAPA President Captain Jon Weaks said in a statement.  “Thanks in equal part to our economically justifiable position and unified pilot group, our negotiators were able to bring back an agreement worthy of review and discussion by our board of directors. However, the membership will have the final decision as always.”

The deal between Southwest Airlines and SWAPA would run through Aug. 31, 2020, would give the pilots retroactive pay for pay-rate increases back to 2013 and put the new pay-rate at a comparable level to other major airlines in the United States.

In addition, the new deal would give Southwest Airlines pilots a retirement plan that meets current industry standard practices. For the airline, the agreement would allow it to build limited partnerships with other airlines for near-international interline deals and far-international codeshare, with enforceable restrictions.

“We appreciate our Pilots and recognize their role in the Company's success,” Southwest COO Michael Van De Ven said in a statement. “With the support and assistance of the NMB, the negotiating teams were able to reach an agreement that balances the needs of our Pilots and the Company.”

For more information on the agreement between Southwest Airlines and its pilots, check out the official website of the airline.


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