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United’s Pilots Just Negotiated an ‘Industry Leading’ Contract – Until it No Longer Was

United’s Pilots Just Negotiated an ‘Industry Leading’ Contract – Until it No Longer Was

The union that represents nearly 14,000 pilots at United Airlines has suspended efforts to convince its own members to vote in favor of an inflation-busting and ‘industry leading’ pay offer after American Airlines seemingly proposed an even bigger pay rise for its pilots.

The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) had been working to convince its members to accept a tentative offer it reached with United which would have seen pilots enjoy a 14.5 percent pay rise spread over 18 months and backdated to the start of 2022.

The agreement also included enhanced overtime, improvements to premium pay and scheduling changes in what Capt. Michael Hamilton, Chair of ALPA’s United pilot group said raised “the bar for all airline pilots and leads the industry forward”.

But that deal was apparently blown out of the water by American’s proposal to offer its pilots a 16.9 percent pay rise in a two-year pay offer that would include improvements to overtime rates, layover ‘per diem’ payments and training pay.

Annual wages for a Captain on American’s single-aisle fleet of Airbus A320s or Boeing 737s could reach $340,000 under the proposed pay offer, while widebody Captain’s of jets like the Boeing 777 or 787 Dreamliner could achieve an annual wage of up to $425,000.

The Allied Pilots Association which represents American’s pilots hasn’t yet publicly commented on the proposal but APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson recently expressed optimism that a deal was close following United’s pay offer and AA’s decision to significantly boost pilot wages at its wholly-owned regional subsidiaries.

Insiders argue that American’s higher offer only brings its pilots up the same pay levels as their counterparts at United and does not constitute a better offer.

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