Southwest pilots and management reach AirTran transition agreement

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Washington DC
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Southwest Airlines says it has reached an agreement with its pilots on an initial transition agreement to establish a framework for the integration of AirTran pilots into Southwest.

Dallas-based Southwest unveiled its acquisition of AirTran Airways in late 2010, and aims to close on the transaction during the second quarter of this year.

Southwest states that through the agreement, the carrier and its pilots union - the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) - have established a framework to begin a transition from Southwest and AirTran operating as separate carriers to a single operating certificate.

AirTran in October of last year concluded five years of negotiations with its pilots and reached a tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association for a new collective bargaining agreement.