DALLAS – Southwest Airlines is pleased to announce that its Pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines’ Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), voted to ratify a tentative agreement reached with the Company in October to add the Boeing 737-800 to the current collective bargaining agreement. With this positive vote, the Pilots’ current contract will also be extended by one year, becoming amendable August, 2012, and will include the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company’s financial performance. SWAPA is made up of more than 5,600 Southwest Pilots.
“We’ve said all along that we wouldn’t introduce a new aircraft type into the fleet without involving our Flight Crews as part of our deliberations,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Since we began evaluating the opportunity to introduce the Boeing 737-800 into our fleet, both our Pilots and Flight Attendants quickly grasped the potential benefits along with the added operational complexities associated with this decision. All Southwest Employees and Customers should be excited at the opportunities adding the 737-800 to our fleet will bring.”
The Company will now move forward finalizing discussions with the Boeing Company regarding substitutions of the 737-800s for the -700 positions, and configuration and equipage options. Southwest currently expects to take delivery of its first 737-800 in the first quarter of 2012. Two weeks ago, Southwest Flight Attendants, represented by Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, ratified its tentative agreement reached with the Company to add the Boeing 737-800 to its current collective bargaining agreement.