Alaska Air has deal with pilots, plan for a dividend

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The Air Line Pilots Association says Alaska Airlines pilots have approved a new, five-year contract.

The association says the contract approved Wednesday increases pay by nearly 20 percent over the life of the agreement. With nearly 94 percent of 1,343 eligible voters casting a ballot, 67 percent voted in favor of the agreement.

Alaska Airlines, like Horizon Air, is a subsidiary of Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, which said Thursday that it will pay a quarterly dividend for the first time. The 20-cent dividend will be paid on Aug. 22 to shareholders of record on Aug. 6.

The company said that the dividend will be financed from available cash and operating cash flow. It comes in addition to a $250 million repurchase program that started in September.

Shares of Alaska Air Group added $1.49, or 2.6 percent, to $59.03 in midday trading.