DALLAS, Texas – Southwest Airlines announced today that it has reached an agreement with its Pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), on an initial Transition Agreement that establishes a procedural framework for eventually integrating the Pilots of Orlando-based AirTran Airways into Southwest. The integration addressed by the agreement would follow the official legal closing of Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran’s parent company, AirTran Holdings, Inc., which is currently anticipated to occur during the second quarter of 2011. Closing is subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of certain regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.
With this initial transition agreement, Southwest and SWAPA establish a framework to begin an orderly transition from operating Southwest and AirTran as separate carriers, to a single carrier under one Single Operating Certificate (SOC). This transition agreement is an integral first step in that process.
“This transition agreement, which was unanimously agreed to by our SWAPA Board of Directors, is an important step in the AirTran acquisition and integration process,” said Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations. “Our hard-working Pilots are now poised to begin the important and challenging work of integrating their AirTran colleagues into Southwest Airlines.”
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; now serving 69 cities in 35 states. Beginning March 13, 2011, Southwest will initiate service to Charleston and Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina, and on March 27, 2011, service will begin to Newark Liberty International Airport. Southwest also 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 3,200 flights a day and has nearly 35,000 Employees systemwide.