- American Airlines escalates its bid for a new pilot contract by over $1 billion, matching the recent United Airlines agreement.
- The new four-year contract is estimated to be worth around $9 billion, offering competitive pay rates and perks in line with industry standards.
- The company stands ready to return to negotiations if necessary, demonstrating commitment to resolving this complex issue.
Amid the rising competition, American Airlines has significantly escalated its bid for a fresh pilot contract, raising the stakes by more than a billion dollars to level with a tentative agreement achieved last week between its competitor, United Airlines, and United's pilots.
In an attempt to parallel United Airlines' pay scales, back payment, and other perks including sick leaves and life insurance, American Airlines' CEO, Robert Isom, conveyed the new proposition to the pilots on Friday. The revised bid, spanning four years, has its worth estimated at approximately $9 billion.
Pilot unions and airlines have been engrossed in bargaining new agreements for numerous years. As the aviation industry navigates through the ongoing pandemic, unions have gained stronger bargaining positions. The industry, simultaneously dealing with a chronic pilot shortage, saw an upswing in travel demand. Echoing this scenario, Delta Air Lines' pilots approved an agreement in March that entails a substantial 34% raise over four years.
This coming Monday marks the day when the pilots of American Airlines were expected to commence voting on the current deal. This deal promises 21% pay bonuses and a competitive salary equivalent to United and Delta, as mentioned by the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing these pilots, this past Friday.
Captain Ed Sicher, the union president, shared that the union leadership will deliberate to decide if the management's comprehensive proposal merits a vote from the membership. In the event that changes aren't approved in time for the vote, Isom assures the company will resume negotiations. He further adds,
“Revisiting each aspect of the agreement will require time. Even minor adjustments can result in significant ramifications in our multifaceted business operation."
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