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Delta Air To Sublease Southwest's Boeing 717 Fleet

Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) will begin taking delivery of Boeing Co. (BA) 717 aircraft as early as 2013 and has agreed to sublease all 88 of Southwest Airlines Co.'s (LUV) Boeing 717s over three years.Delta reached a tentative labor agreement with the Delta Air Line Pilots Association. The contract, which covers more than 12,000 Delta pilots, will be presented for ratification through June 30.The agreement modifies the profit-sharing program for pilots to 10% of profits from 15% on the first $2.5 billion of profits, effective Jan. 1. The plan will continue to pay 20% of profits above $2.5 billion.A voluntary early-retirement option recently offered to Delta's other employee groups will also be available to Delta pilots upon ratification of the tentative agreement.If ratified, the agreement will accelerate Delta's domestic fleet restructuring strategy.To that end, Delta said it will lease 88 Boeing 717 aircraft currently in service at Southwest's AirTran Airways Inc. unit, primarily to r...

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