American offers to boost pilot pay 17% by the end of 2024

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FILE -American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, near a terminal at Boston Logan International Airport, in Boston. Airlines facing a pilot shortage are boosting pay. The CEO of American Airlines said Thursday, June 30, 2022 that his airline has offered to raise pilot wages by nearly 17% through the end of 2024.(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines is offering pilots raises of nearly 17% by the end of 2024, a sign of the leverage that pilots enjoy as airlines struggle with a labor shortage.

CEO Robert Isom said Thursday that the proposal would boost pilot wages at American to the levels detailed in a tentative agreement between United Airlines and its pilots. Isom said in a video sent to pilots that the airline's workers “will be paid well, and paid competitively, no matter what."

Isom said the captain of a Boeing 737 at the top of the proposed pay scale would earn a base salary of about $340,000 a year by the end of 2024. Senior captains of bigger planes, such as Boeing 777s, would earn about $425,000 a year. He said the company is also offering a premium for reassignments, a better profit-sharing program, and other add-ons.

American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, lost $2 billion last year but is seeing stronger revenue this year as travel continues to recover from the worst of the pandemic.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents the airline's roughly 13,000 pilots, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

United pilots, who currently earn more than counterparts at American, are voting through July 15 on a deal that would give them raises of about 14% through 2024.

Pilots at Delta, Southwest and Alaska are in negotiations for new contracts. They have picketed at airports while complaining that understaffing is causing them to work too many flights and risk fatigue.

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