Vote By Union Board Was Unanimous In Favor Of The Contract
The Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) and Southwest
Airlines reached a tentative agreement on Thursday won the addition
of the 737-800 to the Southwest fleet. The company had publicly
stated their intent to convert current Boeing 737-700 aircraft
orders to the larger 737-800s, and adding a new airframe justified
re-opening the pilots' contract. Both parties say the agreement
codifies issues related to the new airframe such as pay and work
rules, and continues a history of efforts and collaboration between
Southwest Airlines and its pilots on collective goals.
"We share the Company's enthusiasm for the added revenue this
aircraft can provide," said Capt. Carl Kuwitzky, SWAPA President.
"This allows our pilots to take a leadership role in tying our pay
to the Company's profitability and investing in our future."
The agreement, which was unanimously approved by the SWAPA
Board, includes a single pay rate for the 737, profitability-based
raise added to the hard 2-percent raise in 2011, a contract
extension with an amendable date extended to September 2012, and a
profitability-based raise in 2012.
SWAPA will hold a membership vote on this side letter to the
contract. Voting will run from November 1, 2010 through December 1,
"SWAPA is pleased that our portion of the Company's acquisition
of the 737-800 is complete, and we look forward to sharing in the
success Southwest Airlines has projected for this aircraft,"
continued Kuwitzky. "Now we can focus our resources on the
acquisition of AirTran Airways and the transition into one
"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.