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America West, pilots reach agreement


PHOENIX (AP) _ America West Airlines has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the airline's 1,549 pilots, the company said Monday.

If approved, the contract would bring an end to the longest mediated case ever before the National Mediation Board, said Ted Phipps, secretary-treasurer of the America West Air Line Pilots Association.

``We're pleased,'' said Patty Nowack, a spokeswoman for Tempe, Ariz.-based America West.

Negotiations began in February 2000 but stalled after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Talks resumed at the end of April and on Saturday pilot union leaders narrowly approved the contract.

The contract now goes before all pilots for a vote in late January.

The pact offers pilots an 11 percent raise over three years, improved scheduling and job protections. Pilots would receive an additional 3 percent raise at the end of the three-year period.

America West serves 88 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It has hubs in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio.
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