Robert Isom, CEO of American Airlines, stated Thursday that the airline offered pilots pay increases totaling almost 17% under a new contract. This was according to an internal video obtained by reporters.
The Allied Pilots Association’s latest proposal to the union comes less than a week following a tentative agreement between rival United Airlines and its pilots union. This agreement includes more than 14% total raises within 18 month, making it the first major U.S. airlines to reach that level in the pandemic.
The agreement will be voted on by United’s pilots in mid-July. It is not yet clear if it has the support needed to pass.
Isom stated earlier this month that American would offer a new deal to its roughly 15,000 pilots, once details of United’s deal had been released.
The proposal contains a 6% increase at sign-off and then 5% increases at the beginning of 2023, 2024.
Isom stated in a video message that United pilots had offered the best pay and they matched it for their team. The higher wages paid to United pilots explains the difference in percentages.
American’s latest proposal is coming at a time when the industry is facing a shortage in pilots, especially for smaller regional airlines. Many airlines are finding themselves in a bind as high travel demand continues to rise, particularly during peak travel times.
Isom stated that American proposes other pay increases, including a 50% premium on reassignment for reserve crews. He said that there are other incentives, such as retroactive payment, if the agreement is ratified before Sept. 30.
He stated, “Getting a deal done quickly can help strengthen our training programs and ensure that we can continue growing.”
Dennis Tajer, a captain of American Airlines and spokesman for union, stated that the APA was currently reviewing the proposal.
American’s relationship to the APA has been among the most difficult in the industry. The union has complained repeatedly about fatigue due to the grueling schedules, as well as other quality-of-life issues such schedule changes and issues that it wants addressed in its next contract.
American pilots protested working conditions and lack of progress in negotiations by pickingeting.
Similar reasons have been cited by pilots from Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines who also pickedeted. The pilots of Delta recently protested at American airports on Thursday. All three airlines are currently in contract negotiations.
Envoy Air, American Airlines’ regional carrier, said that pilots could be paid triple for picking up July open flights. This was reported earlier in the week.