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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

March 11, 2020
Hello everyone,

I would like to give you an update on the Coronavirus as it relates to your interests as a Pilot for SWAPA. First, if you haven't seen Gary Kelly's video to employees, it is available on SWALife. Our Company is seriously impacted by the virus. The short and medium impact is very real, to the tune of over $300 million in lost revenue and growing rapidly. While virus outbreaks are usually short in duration, the fear factor and derivative impacts of the virus may last longer than virus itself. 
We have a few things in our favor. We will not suffer the loss of change fee revenue most other airlines will. Southwest has $5 billion in the bank, and ample lines of credit. We have also been legally deferring some allowable maintenance and delaying some retirements due to the loss of the MAX. The present situation with the virus may give us some flexibility here. We have also stopped Pilot hiring for the foreseeable future and will have approximately 140 retirements this year.
One of the vital keys to help work our way through the virus is the accessibility of testing kits which we are sorely lacking. This is very frustrating, and an example of how a lot of what needs to be done, is out of our control.
There is a strong possibility of reductions in service starting in May. You are and will be pay protected in accordance with the minimum guarantee portions of our CBA. SWAPA has not been approached by the Company regarding furloughs or job-related concessions. Military leaves of absence taken from today until further advised, will not be included as part of the five year cumulative USERRA exempt duty calculation. 
SWAPA resumed direct negotiations on our new CBA with the Company last week, opening with the topics of: efficiency, overmanning, productivity, and scheduling. We have proposed solutions that will immediately help the Company's financials and operation. Our suggested proposals will help Southwest achieve more resiliency and flexibility with various operational needs that sometimes change quickly just as we are seeing at present. These offers to help the Company can be implemented right now and we look forward to their response.
SWAPA is engaged with Flight Ops to work through pay and other issues for those Pilots that may be affected by situations caused by the virus. We are in the final discussion stages of the following proposed policies. There may be slight modifications for unusual or unforeseen scenarios, however we have VP of Flight Ops, Captain Bob Waltz's word that Pilots affected will be made whole.
For simplicity, the term "quarantine" is used throughout these proposals. It is understood that the following will apply if a Pilot is placed into quarantine, monitoring, or isolation, becomes symptomatic, tests positive for, or is diagnosed with or given a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Quarantine While on Duty
A Pilot that gets quarantined, regardless of quarantine location, will receive Daily Reassignment Pay (DRP) for duty periods previously assigned and then 6.5 TFP per day and per diem for the duration of the quarantine.  They will be pulled CC, not sick leave.
Quarantine While not on duty
Should a Pilot be forced into quarantine due to training, transporting or flying with someone who has the Coronavirus, regardless of quarantine location, the Pilot will receive trip value pay for duty periods previously assigned or assigned in the future for the length of the quarantine. They will be pulled CC, not sick leave.
Illness Later Diagnosed as COVID-19
Pilots who call in sick, who have started a duty period within the last 14 days and who later test positive, become symptomatic, or who are diagnosed with or given a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 shall be treated the same as pilots who become symptomatic/diagnosed "While not on duty".  In other words, if your sick call meets these requirements, it will be changed to Company Convenience.
Age 60 
There have also been questions about the conflicting information regarding travel after the age of 60. If you are over age 60, possess a current first class medical, fit to fly, and have no symptoms or other qualifiers per the CDC, you are good to fly. 
Pilots will be reimbursed for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to quarantine less per diem received.
Remember, if you are sick, whether at home or at work, consult with a healthcare professional, get medical attention as needed, and follow all CDC guidelines.
We are in a very serious and rapidly changing situation. There are and will be numerous rumors. Information from credible and official sources such as SWAPA, the CDC, and Southwest should be your primary source on the topics at hand. SWAPA will continue to do everything we can to protect you, your families, our passengers, and our airline.  
Fly the jet and take care of your crews and passengers.
Leading Forward,
Jon Weaks