Southwest, pilots union near a preliminary labor deal, the last of the major U.S. airlines

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 plane lands at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, May 7, 2023.

Nicolas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines and its pilots union are closing in on a new contract that may elevate pay for the service’s greater than 11,000 aviators and finish months of contentious negotiations, weeks forward of the essential vacation journey season.

The firm and the union have agreed on pay, retirement and different gadgets however are engaged on an implementation schedule, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association mentioned in a message to its members on Thursday.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines have already finalized multibillion-dollar labor agreements with pilots this yr as unions pushed for pay hikes, higher scheduling and different enhancements after the Covid pandemic derailed contract talks.

If a preliminary settlement is accredited by the Southwest pilots union board in the coming weeks, it could then go to the pilots for a ratification vote.

The union and the airline declined to offer specifics of the deal.

Southwest and the union “are working exhausting to shut out the few remaining gadgets,” an airline spokesman instructed CNBC. “Southwest stays dedicated to reaching an settlement that rewards our Pilots and locations them competitively in the trade.”

Southwest reached a preliminary agreement with its flight attendants union earlier this fall that features 36% pay will increase for cabin crew members.

A labor deal between the firm and its pilots would finish a interval of tense negotiations, which lately included laying groundwork for a potential strike, although strikes are extraordinarily uncommon in the airline trade.

It would additionally turn into the newest in a string of big labor deals this yr, together with agreements between Hollywood studios and actors, and the studios and writers, in addition to between automakers and the United Auto Workers union, following strikes.

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