American Airlines pilots union agrees pay deal that matches United and Delta

US-based pilot unions are opposing the mandatory retirement age rising to 67
Benson Truong /

The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents pilots working for American Airlines, has reached an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the carrier’s management over labor contracts.  

The announcement came on Thursday, July 27, 2023, after a vote on a previous tentative deal was postponed when the United Airlines pilots union secured a superior deal in its own contract negotiations. 

“The APA Negotiating Committee has reached an Agreement in Principle with American Airlines management on proposed enhancements to the Tentative Agreement,” the APA said. 

United Airlines pilots, who are still yet to vote on their proposed deal, were promised a pay increase of around 40% over four years. Delta Air Lines pilots agreed to a similar level in March 2023.  

With the AIP, the union said, “American Airlines pay rates will increase to match the United and Delta pay rates”.   

“We appreciate the Allied Pilots Association for its collaborative work to reach an updated agreement on a four-year contract for American’s pilots,” American said in a statement. “It’s a contract we’re proud of and one our pilots deserve.” 

Last week the American Airlines CEO Robert Isom increased the company’s offer by around $1billion. 

The AIP, including all related contract language, has been submitted to the union’s board for review and, if approved, will go to a member’s vote in August 2023.  

The AIP also promises 21% a fully pensionable ratification bonus for January, February, March and April 2023, in addition to May, June and July. 

“Contingent on United pilots ratifying their agreement in principle, the increases to 401(k) contributions will adjust to January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2026,” the AIP stated.  

Contract discussions have taken place at a time when an industry-wide shortage of pilots has strengthened the hand of the unions during negotiations with airlines.  

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