Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced a seniority integration agreement has been ratified 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 integrates the two groups' seniority lists. SWAPA's Board of Directors and ALPA's Master Executive Council both approved the agreement in September, allowing the membership of each Pilot's Union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately ratify. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc. on May 2, 2011.
"The ratification of this seniority integration agreement is a significant milestone in the integration of our two great Airlines, and wouldn't have been possible without the Leadership of our Company's negotiating committee bringing all parties together," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "I'd also like to commend the SWAPA Negotiating Committee and the ALPA Merger Committee for working around the clock to ensure all Pilots were educated and informed, and that their interests during this process were represented in a fair and equitable way. I applaud their diligence, and I look forward to seeing our two Pilot groups become one."
"Today marks the beginning of an exciting future for our Pilots and our airline," added Capt.Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations. "Now more than ever I am proud to be a part of our industry-leading group of Pilots who had the foresight and willingness to reach an agreement that other Pilot groups have left to a third party."
There is still work to be done to integrate the more than 6,000 Southwest Airlines Pilots, and 1,700 AirTran Pilots. Integration Teams made up of Pilots from both groups have already been formed and are moving forward in an effort to make the combining of the two groups as seamless as possible.
About Southwest Airlines
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 southwest.com/cares 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.