NEW YORK – A U.S. bankruptcy court Tuesday approved deals between Northwest Airlines and its pilots and ground workers unions, bringing the carrier a step closer to a $1.4 billion labor-cost savings target.
The airline, which filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in September, must now also have concessions in place with its flight attendants union and a small group of workers represented by the IAM before it can begin to realize any of those savings.
A lawyer for Northwest said that the airline hopes to be able to implement the agreements by July 1.
The flight attendants — represented by the Professional Flight Attendants Association — last week rejected a tentative deal that promised the airline $195 million in savings, calling it "harsh and overreaching."
The two sides are scheduled to resume negotiations Wednesday and have set a June 30 deadline to reach a new deal.
Northwest is also negotiating with the IAM for a new contract for its 40 flight simulator technicians and simulator support specialists, who also rejected a tentative labor agreement in March.