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TENTATIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SOUTHWEST AIRLINES AND ITS PILOTS ASSOCIATION HEADS TO MEMBERSHIP FOR RATIFICATION VOTE

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Southwest Airlines and the Southwest Airlines Pilot’s Association (SWAPA) announced today the SWAPA Board of Directors has voted to send the proposed tentative agreement to the full SWAPA membership for a ratification vote. This new proposal is a five-year agreement through Aug. 31, 2011. The current Southwest Pilot contract became amendable on Aug. 31, 2006. SWAPA and Southwest Airlines began contract negotiations in September 2006.  

“I applaud the negotiation teams and the SWAPA Board for recognizing the importance of this new tentative agreement,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. “Although this new proposal was negotiated during a very different and consistently challenging economic period than the previous tentative agreement, we are proud that we could still offer our hard working Pilots a proposal that is responsible, yet reflects the current uncertain economic outlook.”

The current tentative agreement rewards SWAPA membership for the Company’s past two years of profitability, while making a critical move to tie the next two years' compensation to the Company’s financial performance. The tentative agreement is still subject to a ratification vote by the full SWAPA membership made up of more than 5,900 Pilots. The voting period will be determined by SWAPA.  

After 38 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation’s leading low-fare carrier, continues to stand above other airlines—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service.  At Southwest Airlines, bags fly free. Customers can check their first two bags at no extra charge (size and weight limits apply). Southwest is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom.  Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 67 cities (adding Milwaukee Nov. 1, 2009) in 34 states.  Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has nearly 35,000 Employees systemwide.

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