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Southwest Airlines Community



DALLAS — July 16, 2011 — 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.

In its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 72 cities in 37 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.

Southwest Airlines Media Contact: 214/792-4847