Delta Air Lines has offered a 34% cumulative pay raise to its pilots over three years, according to a draft contract seen by Reuters.
The new contract, which is pending approval by Delta’s pilots, consists of an 18% pay rise on the date the contract is ratified, including a 5% hike after one year, a 4% hike after two years and another 4% hike after three years, Reuters added.
In addition to the pay hike, the new contract also offers a one-time payment amounting to a cumulative 22% of Delta pilots’ earnings between 2020 and 2022 if the deal is ratified, according to the draft contract.
Delta now joins other major US carriers, such as United Airlines and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), in negotiating new pilot contracts. The updated terms offered to Delta pilots are expected to be a benchmark for the outcome of rival US carrier contract negotiations.
The new contract offers updated pay rates and benefits against a prior contract negotiated with Delta pilots back in 2016, which the Air Line Pilots’ association (ALPA) had argued to be outdated.
In late October 2022, pilots at Delta gave their backing to union leaders to call a strike if a deal was not reached for a new contract, further stating their willingness “to go the distance” to secure a contract that reflects the value they bring to the airline.
Delta’s contract negotiations began in April 2019, but an agreement was not reached, so mediation was initiated in February 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, negotiations were halted for two years, and mediated talks were only resumed in January 2022.