Two regional carriers owned by American Airlines will increase pilot compensation by 50% through the end of August 2024, the latest hint that airlines are willing to pay up to end a pilot shortage that has left some travellers with fewer flight options.
The raises would make pilots at U.S. regional airlines the highest-paid in the industry, putting pressure on other carriers to follow suit.
Envoy Air, operating in Irving, Texas, announced on Saturday that it had achieved a similar agreement with its pilots’ union, agreeing to pay a 50% premium to pilots’ hourly wages until August 2024.
Raising regional pilot pay is a welcome move, but the bar was set too low, according to Kit Darby, a pilot-compensation consultant and retired United captain.
American’s management recently offered its about 14,000 pilots a 4% rise at the time of signing, followed by a 3% raise the following year.
Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, called that “insulting.”
“It’s great for the pilots to get these rises,” Tajer said, “but when an airline pushes through a more than 50% pay increase, it’s recognising with dollars that they have a problem.”
APA pilots protested at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month, demanding a better contract and more predictable schedules.
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