It's not yet a done deal, but Southwest Airlines and its
pilots union have agreed in principal to a new contract
after two and a half years of negotiations.
One of the major sticking points was codesharing, and the new
agreement allows only four percent of Southwest's routes to be
flown by other airlines under codeshare agreements. A previous
contract offer, which was voted down, had a 6 percent cap.
Southwest has tentative codesharing agreements with Canadian
carrier WestJet Airlines Inc. and Mexican carrier Volaris.
Southwest's passengers could begin flying those airlines under
codeshares in 2010.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the new contract, which
would be open for amendment on Aug. 31, 2011, gives pilots three
raises of 2 percent each, retroactive to Aug. 31, 2006, the current
contract's amendable date. It leaves open the possibility of two
other raises if the airline is profitable, and increased the
company's contribution to the pilot's 401(k) accounts.
Soutwest's pilots union represents more than 5,900 pilots. The
contract is currently under review by the Southwest Airlines
Pilots' Association board, which will make a decision as to whether
to send it out to the membership for ratification.