Southwest, pilots reach preliminary agreement for contract worth $12 billion

Southwest, pilots reach preliminary agreement for contract worth $12 billion
  • PublishedDecember 20, 2023

After three years of negotiating, Southwest Airlines and the union representing the airline’s pilots reached a preliminary agreement on a new contract on Tuesday.

“We are finally at a place where we think the value of our pilots and their productivity is being realized,” said Southwest Airlines Pilots Association President Casey Murray in a statement. “Our pilots and Southwest Airlines customers deserve security and confidence in our future and we believe that this contract achieves that.”

Union leadership said they had reached an agreement in principle with Southwest but that the union’s 25-member board would evaluate the deal on Wednesday to determine whether to reach a tentative agreement with Southwest officially.

That agreement would open the door for the union’s nearly 11,000 members to vote on the deal.

A spokesperson for SWAPA told CNN the contract is worth $12 billion, though she declined to share further details of the deal. Reuters first reported the contract’s dollar amount.

In a statement to CNN, Chris Perry, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, said the airline was pleased.

“The AIP (agreement in principle) is a key milestone in the process, and we look forward to the next steps,” Perry said.

The preliminary deal comes days after the US Department of Transportation announced it would fine Southwest $140 million for last year’s 10-day-long holiday meltdown that stranded more than 2 million travelers, making it the largest-ever civil penalty.

If the contract deal is approved by Southwest’s pilots, it will be the latest major pilot contract agreement in the last 12 months, after Delta Air LinesUnited Airlines and American Airlines reached their own deals with pilots’ unions.


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