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November 13, 2012

SWAPA elects new president

Southwest Airlines pilots elected a new president to lead its union.

Houston-based pilot Captain Mark Richardson received 53.42 percent to become the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association president. Richardson has been a pilot with Southwest since 1995 and lives in Woodlands, Texas.

He replaces Dallas-based Captain Steve Chase who was elected in 2010. Chase ran for re-election but was eliminated in the first round of ballots.

"It is truly an eventful time to represent the pilots of Southwest Airlines as the company completes its operational integration with AirTran and SWAPA continues contract negotiations," Richardson said in a statement. "I am honored by the pilots' trust and do not take lightly the responsibility of leading our group through this changing landscape over the next few years."

Richardson will serve a two-year term beginning on January 1. Captain Richard Forlano, who is also based in Houston, will serve as 2nd vice president for a two-year term.

-Andrea Ahles

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