According to United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby’s statement to Bloomberg, the cost of the proposed pilot compensation agreement will increase by $8 billion over the course of the four-year contract.
The Chicago-based airline and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are currently negotiating a contract after ALPA members vehemently rejected a tentative salary agreement in November. Kirby first asserted that the approach would be “industry-leading,” but has since acknowledged that it “missed the mark.”
Since then, Allied Pilots Association and Alaska Airlines have approved new pay agreements with their pilot groups, and Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have also done the same.
“We have a deal on our table that would be industry-leading,” Kirby told Bloomberg in a new interview after revealing that the two sides were meeting weekly in an effort to secure an agreement.
The whole U.S. airline sector is struggling with a pilot shortage that might last for years, so United Airlines is under pressure to finalize a deal.
Over the course of the four-year contract, the American Airlines pay agreement is likewise expected to add an additional $8 billion in expenditures, whilst the Delta agreement is expected to do so for an additional $7 billion.
However, the contract for Delta pilots also includes a “me too” clause, which indicates that if a competitor like United makes a better offer, the airline will raise pilot compensation to match it.
The leadership of United’s pilot union authorized a strike earlier this month after a vote among its roughly 14,000 members. Pilots at American, Alaska, and Delta all used strike votes as a common negotiating strategy just before tentative agreements were published.