Swiss International Air Lines has reached a deal smoothing tense relations with its regional pilots union and which aims to conclude a new collective working agreement by April.

The deal was reached late on 30 December following a day of negotiations amid the backdrop of an airline-set deadline of 31 December for individual contracts to be signed.

The airline recently spun off its regional activity and pilots to a new subsidiary, Swiss European Air Lines. The pilots’ collective labour deal expired at the end of October and, in the absence of being able to reach a fresh deal, Swiss issued new individual contracts to all its regional pilots. The airline wanted these signed by 31 December 2005.

But pilots union Swiss Pilots Association collected over 80% of all individual contracts issued to the Swiss European pilot corps, which would have effectively prevented the submission deadline being met, as it aimed to secure a new collective labour deal for introduction on 1 April instead of the individual contracts.

Under the deal the union has handed over the individual contracts, while a timeframe for negotiations on a new collective agreement has been decided.

Source: Flight International