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Southwest may fly larger jets

Southwest Airlines and leaders of its pilots union have agreed on tentative contract terms that would allow the largest low-fare carrier to bring the Boeing 737-800 into its fleet.

The 5,800 members of the Southwest Airlines' Pilots Association will vote on the proposal from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, the union said today in a statement. If approved, the plan would set pay and work rules for flying the plane; extend the union's contract by a year, to August 2012; and add possible wage increases tied to the carrier's financial performance, the Dallas-based airline said.

Southwest said in August it was considering adding the larger 737-800 to all its fleet of 737 aircraft to carry more passengers on high-demand routes. The airline and its flight attendants last month reached a similar tentative agreement, which also must be voted on by members.

Southwest has said it will decide whether to add the 737-800 by Dec. 1. The airline agreed on Sept. 26 to buy AirTran for $1.4 billion. The purchase would also add the smaller Boeing 717 to Southwest's fleet.

-- Bloomberg

From the Post's archives:
Southwest seeks to buy AirTran

By Michael Bolden  | October 14, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Airlines, Aviation  
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