Airline shares climbed Tuesday, with United (UAL) posting the strongest gains in shares of as much as 10 percent. United's rally was sparked by news that the airline has hired away American Airlines' (AAL) president, Scott Kirby. American Airlines, whose shares were also up Tuesday, said its Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom will fill Kirby's shoes until further succession plans are outlined. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines (LUV) shares were up more than two percent in midday trading on news that the airline ironed out a deal with the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, which includes about 8,000 Southwest pilots. The deal puts to bed a host of negotiations that had been looming, with the airline reaching a deal that will increase retirement benefits and overall pay. The company said in a statement it will continue to work on final draft language, and the deal still has to undergo 'the normal union ratification process,' and that the dates of ratification votes will be scheduled.
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