According to an internal video obtained by CNBC, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom stated on Thursday that the carrier has offered its pilots’ pay raises totaling nearly 17 percent under a new contract.
The latest proposal to the Allied Pilots Association comes less than a week after rival United Airlines and its pilots union reached a tentative agreement that includes more than 14% total raises over 18 months, making United the first major U.S. airline to reach that point in the pandemic.
However, that agreement is subject to a vote by United’s pilots, which ends in mid-July, and it is unclear whether it will pass.
Isom stated earlier this month that once the details of United’s deal were released, American would make a new offer to the carrier’s approximately 15,000 pilots.
Its proposal includes a 6% raise at the time of signing, followed by 5% raises in 2023 and 2024.
“We matched United’s industry-leading pay for our team,” Isom said in a video message Thursday, referring to pilot pay rates. The percentage difference is due to higher pay for United pilots.
America’s latest proposal comes at a time when the industry is experiencing a pilot shortage, particularly among smaller regional airlines. At the same time, travel demand has skyrocketed, catching many airlines off guard, particularly during peak travel periods.
Isom stated that American is proposing additional pay increases for training and a 50% premium on reassignment, including reserve crews. Other incentives, such as retroactive pay, are available if the agreement is ratified by September 30, he said.
“Getting a deal done quickly will help strengthen our training program and ensure our ability to grow,” he said.
The proposal is being reviewed by the APA, according to Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines captain and union spokesman.
The APA’s relationship with America has been one of the industry’s most contentious. The union has repeatedly expressed concerns about fatigue from grueling schedules and other quality of life issues, such as schedule changes, which it would like addressed in the next contract.
Picketing by American pilots has occurred to protest working conditions and a lack of progress in negotiations.
Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines pilots have also picketed for similar reasons. Delta pilots most recently picketed at airports across the United States on Thursday; all three are currently in contract negotiations.
CNBC reported earlier this week that American Airlines’ regional carrier Envoy Air said pilots could receive triple pay for picking up open trips in July.