Southwest and AirTran pilots’ unions reach agreement


DALLAS – Southwest Airlines is pleased to announce an agreement in principle 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 agreement in principle, subject to the respective unions’ board approval and membership ratification, would integrate the two groups’ seniority lists. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc. on May 2, 2011.

“The unions and Company negotiating teams have accomplished a task that is rare in this industry, developing 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. “It’s just another example of our People taking ownership in the integration of AirTran into Southwest Airlines, and that’s our Culture.”

“We are proud of both groups’ initiative to take a remarkably difficult task and produce something fair and equitable for both sides,” added Capt. Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations. “Our Pilots have demonstrated exceptional leadership through their dedication to this process and their commitment to the integration.”

Southwest Airlines will continue to work toward combining the operations of both carriers and to the success this opportunity offers Customers, Employees and Shareholders. Reaching a negotiated agreement with the two Pilot groups avoids the arbitration process and gives both groups ownership of the combined list.