The respective Unions representing Southwest Airlines and
AirTran Airways Pilots, as well as both Companies signed a
Four-Party Process Agreement that provides for the two pilot groups
to begin their seniority integration discussions prior to legal
closing of the AirTran acquisition. The agreement, signed Thursday,
outlines provisions of an implementation schedule in the event an
agreement is reached on an integrated seniority list (ISL).
Southwest anticipates closing on its acquisition of AirTran Airways
in second quarter of 2011.
"This is yet another important step in the overall process of
bringing these two great carriers together," said Mike Van de Ven,
Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating
Officer. "I applaud both sides for signing this important agreement
that lays the groundwork for bringing together these two hard
working Pilot groups."
The Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) and the Air
Line Pilots' Association (ALPA) can now begin the work of
integrating seniority lists in accordance with the McCaskill-Bond
Act. This new Four-Party Process Agreement also creates a timeline
for SWAPA and ALPA to reach an ISL agreement. If an agreement is
not reached during this timeframe, the matter will be sent to
arbitration and a new implementation process will have to be