Republic Airways shares soar after pilot agreement reached

Shares in Republic Airways Holdings Inc. soared almost 80 percent Monday after the company reached a tentative agreement with its pilots union that eases concerns of a possible bankruptcy filing.

Terms of the three-year contract weren’t immediately disclosed in Monday’s written statement from the airline and union. The agreement must be voted on by Republic’s 2,100 pilots, who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Indianapolis-based Republic said in August that a lack of a new contract was contributing to a pilot shortage that might force it into court-supervised restructuring. The carrier has had to negotiate reductions in its flying for American, United and Delta airlines because of the labor dispute, which had caused Republic’s shares to plunge 80 percent this year through Friday.

Republic shares were up 79.4 percent, to $5.23 each, late Monday afternoon, the biggest intraday increase since May 2004.

“This consensual agreement respects the role our pilots play in our airline’s success and it puts them at the forefront of our industry,” said Matt Koscal, Republic’s vice president of human resources, in the statement.

Jim Clark, president of the Teamsters local, said the union’s executive board recommended that members approve the tentative contract.

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