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American Airlines pilots to get instant pay boost of over 21%

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The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and airline management reached a new pay and quality of life agreement on August 1, 2023, for pilots employed by American Airlines.

Over 95% of the eligible pilots who made up the union’s 15,000 members took part in the vote on the new terms.

The APA reported that the pilots had voted 72.7% in favor of the new contract on August 21, 2023.

The outcome of the two-week-long survey revealed that all United Airlines pilots backed the proposed agreement, which included, on average, an immediate 21% or more pay raise.

The new 48-month contract, according to the APA, includes improvements to numerous benefits and work rules as well as immediate one-time payments and ratification bonuses totaling about $1.1 billion. It also includes annual pay rate increases for the duration of the contract.

“The pilots of American Airlines have spoken. It’s time to move forward with a new working agreement that provides substantial monetary gains and quality-of-life improvements,” said Capt. Ed Sicher, Allied Pilots Association president.

“This contract is a big first step toward restoring the wages, benefits, and work rules that were lost during the past two decades while our profession was under continuous assault. As pilots, we hold a tremendous amount of responsibility with every flight we take. It’s a responsibility we take seriously, as evidenced by the US airline industry’s unrivaled safety record, and it’s time for our profession to provide rewards commensurate with its unique demands.”

Pilot compensation rates will rise by more than 46% over the course of the contract in addition to the 21% salary increase, greater 401(k) contribution rates, and subsequent pay increases each May.

Overall, compared to the previous contract, the new one will give American Airlines pilots an extra $9.6 billion in value.

On August 1, 2027, the new contract becomes amendable. The next round of negotiations could start as early as November 2026.

Nearly 20% of the increased value of the new contract is attributable to quality-of-life enhancements, such as better vacation benefits, higher reassignment pay, and higher per diem and training pay.

“Today is a really great day for our pilots and airline,” said American’s CEO Robert Isom. “This agreement will help America immediately expand our pilot training capacity to support under-utilized aircraft and future flying and provide our pilots with more opportunities to progress in their careers.

We’re grateful for the company and APA negotiating teams who worked diligently and collaboratively to reach an agreement we’re proud of and one our pilots deserve. And, I would like to personally thank and congratulate Capt. Ed Sicher, APA President, for his superb leadership throughout the negotiating process.”

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