Southwest Airlines Pilots Will Get A 3 Percent Raise


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Southwest Airlines Pilots Will Get A 3 Percent Raise

Steve Hall

October 25, 2010 - Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) received official notice from the Company that the negotiated profitability-based raise in the pilots’ contract has earned them a 3 percent raise for 2010.

Originally valued during contract negotiations as a likely zero percent raise due to the economy and Company performance at the time, this wage increase arrives as a minor surprise and a sign of a changing economic climate. 

Following is a statement from Capt. Carl Kuwitzky, SWAPA President: “This raise is good news for both our pilot group and Southwest Airlines. The pilots have been willing to tie our pay increases to the success of Southwest Airlines.


“Our pilots showed great leadership and confidence in our Company and we are excited about a future with an improving economy which allows our Company to maintain its profitability. The pilots, like all Southwest employees, hope that positive announcements such as the one from the Company signals an end to difficult times and portends a bright, growth-filled future ahead.” 

Just a week earlier Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) reached a Tentative Agreement with Southwest Airlines on the addition of the 737-800 to the Southwest fleet. The Company has publicly stated their intent to convert current Boeing 737-700 aircraft orders to the larger 737-800s. Adding a new airframe causes a re-opener of the pilots’ contract and this agreement codifies issues related to the new airframe such as pay and work rules. 

This agreement continues a history of efforts and collaboration between Southwest Airlines and its pilots on collective goals. “We share the Company’s enthusiasm for the added revenue this aircraft can provide,” said Capt. Carl Kuwitzky, SWAPA President. “This allows our pilots to take a leadership role in tying our pay to the Company’s profitability and investing in our future.” The agreement includes a single pay rate for the 737; profitability-based raise added to the hard 2 percent raise in 2011; a contract extension with an amendable date extended to September 2012 and a profitability-based raise in 2012.

SWAPA will hold a membership vote on this side letter to the contract. Voting will run from November 1, 2010 through December 1, 2010. “SWAPA is pleased that our portion of the Company’s acquisition of the 737-800 is complete, and we look forward to sharing in the success Southwest Airlines has projected for this aircraft,” continued Kuwitzky. “Now we can focus our resources on the acquisition of AirTran Airways and the transition into one carrier.”

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