American Airlines agreement details hypothetical Airbus A380 pilot salaries

American Airlines and its pilots newest agreement revealed the provisional salaries for all aircraft, including those that the airline does not operate
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The Allied Pilots Association (APA) has revealed more information about a proposed tentative agreement between American Airlines and its pilots. 

The agreement was approved via a vote, with 16 APA board members in favor and four against, which resulted in the board approving the motion for union members to vote on the new labor contract. Pilots that are part of APA will vote on the proposed agreement between July 24 and August 7, 2023. 

APA’s negotiating committee presented the proposed tentative agreement to the union’s board of directors on June 25, 2023. 

According to the association’s executive summary of the new contract, it would be valid for 48 months, with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) designed to introduce scheduling and work rule changes. These changes include but are not exclusive to improving the overall quality of life, generating pilot options, introducing principles of trip ownership, simplifying scheduling and work rules, and promoting company and pilot accountability, as well as operational integrity. 

Overall, the added value of the new agreement compared to the older CBA is approximately $8.3 billion over the 48-month period of validity, including around $1 billion in one-time payments and ratification bonuses. 

That is 47% higher than the current joint CBA (JBCA), with pay rates increasing by a total of 21% until May 2027. The different aircraft types are now split into pay bands, which, according to the APA, “improves upon industry comparators, and provides the flexibility needed to recapture the pay for flying which was done by retired Group 3 aircraft”. Pay bands include all small, normal, long-range narrow-body aircraft, as well as small, normal, and large wide-body jets. 

Different pay for different aircraft 

However, American Airlines crews piloting the Airbus A321neo, A321XLR, and Boeing 737 MAX-10 aircraft will get a higher pay rate override compared to crews who fly other A320ceo/A320neo and 737 family aircraft types. 

“Peer comparators’ agreements and real-time industry bargaining developments were influential in our own negotiations. This 2023 TA includes several industry-leading compensation, benefits, and work-rule provisions,” read the APA’s executive summary. 

While the union’s board of directors did not get everything it wanted during the negotiations phase, the summary noted that “when comparing 238 items from the Board-approved January framework and this 2023 TA against Delta’s March 2023 CBA, the guidance provided has resulted in meaningful enhancements to our collective bargaining agreement and set a new bar for the future”. 

Looking at pay tables provided by APA, if American Airlines operated the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747, effective May 2, 2023, captains on these aircraft would earn $402.28 per block hour during their first year of employment.  By year 12, that would go up to $438.42 per block hour. Meanwhile, first officers would earn $108.34 per block hour, rising to $299.48 per block hour by year 12. 

The starting pay rate as of May 2, 2027, would be $470.57 ($512.82 by year 12) for captains and $126.73 ($350.31 by year 12) for first officers. 

For wide-body aircraft that American Airlines already operates, the highest earners are the large wide-body pilots, including the Boeing 777-200ER, 777-300ER, and 787-8 and 787-9. Pilots of those aircraft, whose pay band also includes the Airbus A330, A340, A350, and Boeing 767-400, would earn $383.12 per block hour if they are captains, while first officers would be paid $108.34 per block hour. For first officers, the same block hour rate remains on the lower pay band group, which includes the Boeing 767-200, 767-300, and Airbus A300, as well as the narrow-body jets Airbus A321neo, A321XLR, and the Boeing 737 MAX-10. 

Captains flying the same aircraft from the lower pay band will earn $317.76 per block hour. 

Meanwhile, captains flying narrow-body aircraft ranging from the A320neo, A320ceo, to the 737 MAX and 737 NextGeneration (NG), as well as the MD-80 and A220-300, the latter two of which American Airlines does not operate, will earn $309.03 per block hour. First officers flying the same aircraft will be earning $108.34 per block hour in year 1. 

However, the first officer rate raises every year. If in year 1 a first officer flying the Boeing 787 is earning $108.34 per block hour, by year 2 it will rise to $206.65. For comparison, the same raise applies to an A320neo first officer, with their salary going from $108.34 to $166.60 by year 2. 

For the smallest aircraft, namely the A220-100, Embraer E2 jets (not operated by American Airlines), E-jets, and the Mitsubishi CRJ-1000, as well as the now axed SpaceJet, the captain pay ranges from $284.34 to $197.76. First officer salaries have a baseline of $108.34, rising to a varying degree in subsequent years. 

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