July 13, 2009 / 2:16 PM / in 9 years

Air Canada pilots approve labor, pension deal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia , July 13 (Reuters) - Pilots at Air Canada ACa.TO have narrowly voted in favor of a tentative labor and pension agreement, the union said on Monday.

The Air Canada Pilots Association, which represents 3,300 pilots at Canada’s biggest airline, said 55 percent of its members had backed the 21-month pact.

Hobbled by a sharp drop in global travel and tough domestic competition, Air Canada needs labor peace as it pursues federal approval for a moratorium of funding its C$2.9 billion ($2.5 billion) pension deficit.

The debt-laden company has also said it needs C$600 million in financing to meet its short-term needs, and help avert a second bankruptcy filing in six years. ($1=$1.16 Canadian) (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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