American Airlines offer pilots 17% pay increase amidst industry staffing woes

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American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has put forward a new pay offer for its pilots, which includes a base pay increase of 17% and other enhanced payments.   

In an internal video addressing American Airlines’ (A1G) (AAL) pilots, CEO Robert Isom confirmed that the US-based carrier made a new comprehensive proposal to the Allied Pilots Association (APA). 

Isom detailed the proposal which includes “substantially better pay.”

“We’ve offered base pay increases of 16.9% through 2024, as well as increases to many other pay components such as per diem and training pay, and a 50% premium on all reassignments, which would now include Reserves,” stated Isom in the video transcript. 

The proposal comes as airlines and airports scramble for staff in the United States to meet the bounce-back in demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. Carriers across the continent have been forced to trim schedules due to labor shortages and airlines are boosting pilot pay in a bid to retain and attract crews. United Airlines, the first major carrier to agree a deal with pilots, offered its pilots pay increases of over 14%.  

“To put that into real dollars, by the end of the agreement, factoring in only base salary, a narrowbody captain at the top of the scale would earn about $340,000 a year – $45,000 more each year than they earn today,” explained Isom. “A widebody captain at top of the scale would earn about $425,000 a year, or $64,000 more annually. If you add in any current or proposed premiums, and the company’s 16% 401(k) contribution, the increases become even greater.” 

Isom also said check pilots, those who help train other pilots, would also get better pay, premiums and more schedule reliability.  

“We all know the criticality of increasing our pilot training throughput so we can continue to grow the airline. Check Pilots are essential to that mission,” added Isom. 

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) also told the APA, that if the proposal – currently being reviewed by the APA– was ratified by September 30, 2022, the airline would include additional incentives such as some “retro pay” and a “significant signing bonus”.   

Isom shared that the airline was keen on getting the deal signed “quickly” to help bolster its training program while ensuring growth. 

“That will allow us to hire more pilots, take deliveries of narrowbody and widebody aircraft, and most importantly, create many more captain positions,” said Isom. “Contract aside, the best way to increase a pilot’s compensation is to move from First Officer to Captain, and from narrowbody to wide. This proposal will allow us to do a lot more of that.! And right now!” 


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