Pilots at American Airlines ratified a new $9 billion contract on Monday with 72.7% of pilots voting in favor of the deal, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) said shortly after the poll closed.
American Airlines estimates that the contract will be worth around $9 billion in compensation and quality-of-life benefits over the course of the four-year deal.
Within that sum is $1.1 billion in immediate, one-time payments and ratification bonuses, along with annual pay rate increases over the duration of the contract.
Pilots at the Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier are expected to receive an initial bumper pay rise of more than 21%, but by the end of the contract, pilot wages are set to swell by as much as 46%.
“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,” commented APA president Captain Ed Sicher after the contract was ratified.
“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,” Sicher continued.
“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 U.S. airline industry’s unrivaled safety record, and it’s time for our profession to provide rewards commensurate with its unique demands.”
To get to this point, AA pilots had initially accepted and then rejected a pay offer before voting in favor of a strike authorization. The final deal then had to be renegotiated at the last minute to match a pay deal struck by their peers at United Airlines.
American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said today was a “really great day for our pilots and airline”.
“This agreement will help American 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,” Isom continued.
“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.”
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.