Sun Country Airlines and its pilots union made it official Thursday that the two parties have reached a tentative contract agreement after five years of deliberations.
Few details were immediately available, although the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said the pact includes “significant pay raises and other improvements.” The new contract runs for five years.
Brian Roseen, chairman of ALPA’s master executive council at Sun Country, said details will be withheld until ALPA can explain the tentative agreement to its 250 members.
Roseen said a ratification vote will begin next month and will conclude before Oct. 31.
The agreement was reached late Friday in Washington with assistance from the National Mediation Board. The agreement was first reported by the Star Tribune over the weekend.
“This tentative agreement represents a major leap forward in bringing pilot wages into line with their peers,” Roseen said in a statement. “We … look forward to helping our hometown airline grow and prosper.”
Sun Country Chairman Marty Davis, who was in Washington for the final two days of negotiations last week, called the agreement “mutually beneficial.”
“While the arduous process of two parties coalescing to agreement surrounding labor contracts is emotionally charged and sometimes turbulent, we appreciate the professionalism that our pilots exhibited throughout,” Davis added.
In February, ALPA members voted to authorize a strike, although no date was set.
As discussions continued to bog down earlier this year, Davis warned that the airline would “downsize” without a contract in place.
Sun Country and its fleet of 20 aircraft fly out of Terminal 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where a $27.6 million gate expansion project is underway after a brief delay because of the labor uncertainty.