Southwest Airlines flight attendants have voted in favour of a tentative agreement that will allow the carrier to operate flights over water and to international destinations.
Represented by the Transport Workers Union Local 556, 52.3% or 3,073 flight attendants voted for the agreement while the remaining 47.7% voted against. Of 10,353 eligible voters, only 5,873 took part in the vote.
Southwest does not operate internationally but plans to offer flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and South America following its purchase of AirTran Airways in May 2011. AirTran operates to Mexico and the Caribbean. Southwest aims to operate these international flights in 2014 after it rolls out a passenger service system that can handle the international operations.
"We're very pleased to reach this agreement, with terms that will allow the company to grow and prosper, protect the interests of the flight attendants and allow us to continue to provide the exceptional customer-first service that Southwest is known for," says Stacy Martin, TWU Local 556 president.