American Airlines carriers are raising pilots’ salaries as shortages continue

The American Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 jet was spotted on the final approach landing at JFK International Airport in New York NY on February 13, 2020.

Nicolas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Two pilot carriers in the region owned by American Airlines will increase their paychecks by 50% by the end of August 2024, with the latest signal carriers willing to pay to end the shortage of pilots that has left some passengers with fewer flight options.

The increases would pay pilots the highest they pay among U.S. regional airlines, increasing the pressure on other carriers.

Including permanent and separate salary increases, temporary increases will increase the hourly pay of first officers in the first year of a Piedmont Airlines flight to $ 90 per hour, compared to $ 51 per hour, the company said. For first-year captains, the salary will be $ 146 per hour, more than $ 78 per hour. The airline may extend temporary increases if necessary, Piedmont’s chief executive said on Monday.

Airlines have been hiring pilots since last year when travel demand began to bounce off the covid low of the Covid pandemic. But persistent shortages of pilots are still hampering growth in times of high demand, prompting airlines to park aircraft serving smaller cities. Part of the problem is that airlines have encouraged pilots to take early retirement after their demand rose in 2020 and they were left with too little when travel resumed.

This has increased the competition for riders.

“The wear and tear of regional pilots, especially captains, has increased tremendously to the point where we can’t put our fleet in the air,” Eric Morgan, Piedmont’s chief executive, told CNBC.

The Salisbury, Maryland-based airline is losing about 25 pilots a month due to the operation of American’s main line, and does not aim to hire about 40 pilots a month. The 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 flies for Americans, usually in small cities, but has been unable to operate 10 of its 60 aircraft, Morgan said.

He approached the Piedmont union with salary increases that were outside the normal contract negotiations, said Captain Morgan and Ryan Miller, chairmen of the Piedmont chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Envoy Air, in Irving, Texas, said on Saturday it had reached a similar agreement with its pilots’ union to pay a 50% premium on hourly pilot rates until the end of August 2024.

Envoy, which has about 2,000 pilots, was losing about 80 pilots a year to other airlines and hired about 60, including the American, Captain Ric Wilson, according to the carrier’s vice president of flight operations. Most of the wear was said to have been among Captain Envoy.

Kit Darby, a pilot pay advisor and retired United captain, said raising the salary for pilots in the region is a positive step, but the bar was low. Airlines need to ask, “What is the living wage and what will it take to attract pilots to the race?”

Wage increases come when some of the largest pilots ’unions – representing more than 35,000 aircraft in the Southwest, Delta, JetBlue and American – are talking about contracting with their carriers.

American Airlines pilots make a picket outside the New York Stock Exchange on June 2, 2022.

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

The U.S. leadership recently offered its 14,000 pilots a 4% increase on the day of signing, followed by a 3% increase the following year. Allied Pilots Association spokesman Dennis Tajer called it “offensive.”

“It’s okay for pilots to receive these increases, but if you have an airline that is making a pay rise of more than 50%, it’s acknowledging that they have a problem with dollars,” Tajer said. APA pilots picketed the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month to get better contracts and better schedules.

The American did not immediately comment on the union spokesman’s remarks.

American Airlines carriers are raising pilots’ salaries as shortages continue

Source link American Airlines carriers are raising pilots’ salaries as shortages continue

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