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A five-year contract extension is approved by Southwest Airlines pilots

On Monday, Southwest Airlines announced that its pilots had accepted a new labor deal that will provide a five-year wage increase of around fifty percent.

Following the contract’s expiration in September 2020, about 11,000 pilots connected to the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association had been bargaining for increased compensation, retirement benefits, disability insurance, and an updated scheduling procedure.

According to a statement from the union, the new $12 billion deal received about 93% of the votes cast in support of it.

The Dallas-based airline is offering its pilots an immediate pay increase of 29.15%, as well as increases of 4% in 2025, 2026, and 2027. The accord calls for a 3.25 percent pay increase in 2028.

In an attempt to draw and keep pilots as travel picks up steam following the pandemic, carriers are giving bumper contracts.

Pilots at United Airlines Holdings approved a contract last year that included perks and compensation increases ranging from 34.5% to 46% over four years. This contract followed agreements made at American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Unions in the airline, rail, construction, and aerospace sectors have fought for better pay and benefits for the last two years in a competitive labor market.

A large number of pilot contracts have increased airline expenses and prompted demands for similar increases from other labor groups.

Southwest flight attendants voted down a five-year deal last month that would have given them the highest pay in the industry.

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