The Allied Pilots Association (APA) said on Friday that it had reached an agreement in principle with American Airlines on a contested contract without providing further details of the tentative agreement.
The deal comes just weeks after AA’s 15,000-strong pilot workforce voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing strike action as contract negotiations dragged on.
The union said 96% of its members took part in the vote, and of those, over 99% voted in favor of authorizing a strike following a two-month ballot which concluded on April 30.
In March, AA chief executive Robert Isom had directly appealed to pilots with a pay offer that would see massive hikes of around 40% over a four-year contract. Under Isom’s proposal, a top-rated widebody aircraft Captain could earn $590,000 a year – an increase of $170,000 more than what they earn at the moment.
The airline estimated that Isom’s proposal would set the company back as much as $7 billion in incremental compensation, benefits and quality of life improvements.
In a statement, the union said on Friday: “The APA Negotiating Committee and its American Airlines management counterparts have reached an agreement in principle (AIP) on a new collective bargaining agreement.”
The two sides must now complete contractual language before presenting the deal to the union’s board of directors. An agreement in principle which was reached last year was rejected by the board of directors after Delta pilots secured a better pay deal.
“Fellow pilots, thank you for your steadfast support throughout this lengthy process. As always, we will proceed with the best interests of the pilot group foremost in our minds,” the statement continued.
A spokesperson for American Airlines told us: “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement in principle on a new four-year contract with the Allied Pilots Association (APA) that provides our pilots with pay and profit sharing that match the top of the industry with improved quality-of-life provisions unique to American’s pilots.”
“We have the best and most professional pilots in the business and like all American Airlines team members, they deserve to be paid well and competitively.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.