United Airlines pilots approved a new labor contract with the airline. The new four-year contract comes with significant pay increases, benefits and work rule improvements. Over the next four years, United pilots are expected to get up to 40.2% in raises.
New Labor Contract Worth $10 Billion
Last year, Air Line Pilots Association rejected an offer from United, forcing the airline to come up with better terms. While United was slower than other leading airlines in having a new labor contract with their pilots, the deal is worth $10 billion according to the ALPA. This makes the new contract the largest ever for any airline.
ALPA described the new contract as featuring “an industry-leading increase” in pay. It also comes with “quality of work-life and work rule improvements, sick leave and vacation improvements, and an increase in retirement benefits.”
The union said on Friday that the new contract received an 82% approval from more than 97% of its members that voted. This contract is expected to last until September 30, 2027.
Earlier this year, Delta and American pilots approved their new contracts. 15,000 American Airlines pilots are set to get an immediate 21% increase in pay and a total compensation raise of more than 46% in its new four-year contract. In March, Delta pilots received a similar agreement with their employer. Southwest Airlines is the last remaining carrier of the four major US airlines without a new contract with its pilots.
After the pandemic caused a shortage of pilots, airlines are now in a position where they need to hurry to meet the current increase in travel demand. But now with a stronger bargaining power, pilots pressured their respective employers to raise their compensation and improve working conditions.
Unfortunately, pilot shortages are expected to last for years in the United States. Analysts at Jefferies estimated that there is a shortage of around 10,000 aviators in the United States.