Southwest reaches tentative agreement with pilots union on Boeing 737-800

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DALLAS – The decision to bring the Boeing 737-800 into the Southwest Airlines fleet moved yet another step closer to reality today as the Board of Directors for the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), representing more than 5,800 Pilots, unanimously approved a tentative agreement reached with the Company. The tentative agreement will now be presented to the full SWAPA membership for a ratification vote.

“Two months ago, we initiated discussions with both our Flight Attendants and Pilots as part of our contractual requirements to operate the -800,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Today, I want to congratulate both SWAPA and TWU 556, the Union that represents our Flight Attendants, for recognizing the potential longterm benefits associated with adding the -800 to our fleet. We are still evaluating the needs for training, scheduling, aircraft configuration, and other regulatory considerations, but this is an important step in the due diligence process.”

If approved by a majority vote of the Pilots, their current contract will be extended by one year, becoming amendable August 31, 2012, and also include the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company’s financial performance.

Last month, the Executive Board of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, representing more than 9,700 Southwest Flight Attendants, unanimously approved a tentative agreement reached with the Company. The tentative agreement is currently being presented to all members of TWU 556 for a ratification vote.