Southwest-AirTran mechanics approve seniority deal

Mechanics at Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways have approved a deal to combine work forces into a single seniority list as part of the Southwest-AirTran merger.

Dallas-based Southwest acquired Orlando-based AirTran last year, giving Southwest entrance into the Atlanta market. AirTran is the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and Southwest is gradually folding AirTran's operations into its own over the next couple of years.

Southwest's roughly 1,750  mechanics represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and AirTran's 500 mechanics represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters finished voting on a seniority integration agreement Tuesday.

The approval comes after Southwest mechanics in February voted to reject a previous deal. AirTran mechanics had voted to approve that deal.

Southwest and AirTran pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, dispatchers, flight instructors, as well as operations, provisioning and freight agents have already negotiated seniority integration. Still in talks are customer service agents, customer support and service employees and stock clerks.