Last Updated Oct 14, 2010 5:36 PM EDT
When Southwest first announced that it was interested in flying the 737-800s, I couldn't figure out why the airline would bother talking about it unless it was meant to put public pressure on the unions to agree to fly the airplanes. Since the flight attendants were the first ones to respond publicly, I thought that pressure was directed at the flight attendants, but I was wrong. They came to an agreement quickly.
My suspicions then shifted toward the pilots after they suggested that they weren't entirely thrilled with this plan. Now the pilots have come to an agreement as well. Go figure.
This new pilot agreement extends the current contract for one year and includes "the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company's financial performance." In other words, no wage increase but increased profit-sharing potential, I suppose.
So the labor deals are done, and now Southwest just has to work out logistics around the order to decide whether or not to proceed with it. I believe we'll hear by December 1 which way the airline decides to go. But why did Southwest start talking about this so early when there was no reason to do so?
It still seems most likely that it was to put pressure on labor. We'll never know, I guess. If that was the goal, I seems to have worked. I really can't think of another good reason for Southwest to have started talking about this when it did. Southwest does like to do things differently, but usually when things are done differently, there's a clear reason why. That's not the case here.
- Flight Attendant Demands May Block Southwest's Push Toward Bigger Planes
- Southwest Pilots Chime in With Caution on New Aircraft Purchase
- Southwest Flight Attendants Agree to Fly Larger Planes -- Now For the Pilots