Just last week, flight attendants for Sun Country Airlines braved a snowstorm to picket for a new contract with higher wages.

This week, the union for the flight attendants successfully negotiated with the carrier in the first step toward a new tentative union contract.

The Minneapolis-based carrier and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced on Friday they have reached "an agreement in principle" on a new collective bargaining agreement covering Sun Country's more than 600 flight attendants.

Sun Country said in the announcement the agreement "significantly improves members' wages and working conditions," though it offered no specific details.

"We are grateful for the work our flight attendants do every day to keep our passengers safe and comfortable," said Matt Hoiness, a Sun Country vice president, in a statement.

The company and the union will work together to finalize the language in the agreement over the next 30 days. Once that's complete, the flight attendants will vote on the resulting tentative agreement.

Rich Fredrick, a business agent for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 120 that represents the flight attendants, confirmed the two parties reached the preliminary agreement Thursday.

The flight attendants have been operating under a 2014 contract with a wage deal that dates back to 2016. Entry-level flight attendants now start at $21.53 an hour and top out at $53.56, union officials said. A flight attendant is considered full time around 82 to 85 hours a month on average.

Industrywide, flight attendants are paid for flight time. But that doesn't include all of their work, including when they're waiting for an aircraft or boarding passengers.

The union didn't want to disclose actual pay goals during negotiations but focused on securing higher pay more quickly to be competitive with industry competitors like Spirit and Frontier. The union sought to shorten the 34-year wage scale to a comparable industry standard of 12 to 20 years.

Bargaining had paused for 19 months because of the pandemic and resumed in October 2021, the union has said, noting Sun Country's record revenue of $894.4 million last year and its expanding fleet.

Flight attendants have said the company should reward them for voluntary furloughs many took during the pandemic to help the carrier, as well as the challenging front-line efforts by those on the job to enforce passenger mask mandates.