Contract Negotiations Pop Up at Another Major Airline

Published: 04-12-2017
American Airlines pilots fight for higher pay in new contract negotiations

When US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2014, pilots entered into a negotiation to have a 23 percent increase in their annual salary. However, since this agreement was reached, pilots have seen an industry average pay increase of almost 38 percent. This creates an average pay disparity of about 25 percent when comparing American Airlines to other major airlines like Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

According to financial analysts, it would be in American’s best interest to increase pilots pay to remain in line with the industry average prior to 2020, when the agreement becomes amendable. In this economic environment, American has not been the only airline to come under fire regarding their pilot pay structure. Recently, Hawaiian agreed to raise pilot salaries to be comparable to that of Delta Air Lines.

As discovered in a recent study, Delta and United pilots who operate 777/787/A330, receive between $334 to $353 per hour. However, American pilots in this same group only receive $320 per hour. That’s a difference of $14 to $33 per hour, or 5 to 10 percent. Even with the 23% salary increase, competitors of American Airlines are able to offer their pilots a larger salary and compensation package.

Increasing pay is not the only issue that pilots are working through with American Airlines. Other matters include scheduling, training pay, sick pay, work rules, vacation, health care, retirement and other benefits. If American isn’t open to renegotiating the contract with pilots, employee happiness may suffer.

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