United Airlines pilots on Saturday reached a deal with the company for a total of $10 billion in salary increases of up to 40% over the four-year contract period.
The proposed deal would give U.S. pilots another big wage win after a deal with Delta Air Lines was approved in March. The sharp increase reflects a shortage of US pilots and a strong recovery in air travel demand.
In addition to higher remuneration, this agreement provides better employment security, working rules, vacation, retirement and other benefits.
At major airlines like United Airlines, pilots earn easy six-figure salaries. Top-tier pilots who typically fly large planes internationally can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Chicago-based United Airlines said in a statement that the deal will support its “United Next” strategy, an expansion plan that includes the purchase of larger aircraft to increase the number of seats per flight in North America by about 30%. Stated. By 2026, he will increase the number of premium seats per flight by 75%.
“We promised our world-class pilots the industry-leading contracts they deserve, and we’re delighted to have reached an agreement,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. I have written on the social media network LinkedIn.
Union officials said the deal was the result of four years of negotiations and was a “breakthrough” deal in the airline industry after a sharp drop in travel demand amid the pandemic.
Captain Garth Thompson, President of the International United Pilots Association Masters Executive Council, said, “The unwavering dedication shown by our pilots over the past few years has ensured our unity and contributed to the achievement of this historic agreement. did,” he said. statement.
The Aviation Pilots Association, the world’s largest aviation pilots union, represents 74,000 pilots on 42 US and Canadian airlines, including 16,000 pilots on United Airlines.
The union and management will now finalize the final wording of the agreement. The agreement must then be approved by a vote of members of the Pilots Association, and approval is expected within the next few weeks.
In March, Delta Air Lines approved a deal that would raise wages by 34% by 2026 and include improved scheduling, severance pay and other benefits. The Delta Air Lines deal raised the bar for pilot compensation and benefits.
The pilot shortage is a result of airlines cutting pilot numbers through acquisitions and retirements when air travel was severely cut early in the pandemic. But as demand for air travel surged over the past year, airlines have hired thousands to fill the missing pilots and increased pilot salaries and benefits.
Niraj Chokshi contributed to the report.