Sun Country reaches tentative deal with pilots after 5 years of negotiations

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Sun Country Airlines and its pilots reached a tentative agreement following five years of negotiations and the help of a federal mediator.

The two sides announced Thursday that the deal includes "significant pay raises and other improvements," according to an email news release.

Pilots with the Mendota Heights-based airline were among the lowest paid in the industry, the Air Line Pilots Association said.

“This tentative agreement represents a major leap forward in bringing pilot wages into line with their peers. We are gratified that management has recognized our contributions to Sun Country’s success and look forward to helping our hometown airline grow and prosper," Capt. Brian Roseen, chairman of ALPA���s Sun Country Master Executive Council, said in the release.

Exact details of the agreement are being withheld until the union can explain them to the pilots, Roseen noted. A ratification vote is expected to begin next month and conclude before Oct. 31.

Marty Davis, the chairman of Sun Country Airlines, said in the release that he appreciates the "professionalism that our pilots exhibited throughout" the years of negotiations, noting labor contracts can be "emotionally charged and sometimes turbulent".

The two sides came to an agreement during a session at the National Mediation Board's headquarters in Washington, D.C. last week, the release notes.

There were fears that Sun Country might cut back flights or eliminate some altogether if the airline and its pilots couldn't come to an agreement.

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