• Sat. May 20th, 2023

American Airlines pilots reach preliminary labor agreement

An American Airlines plane prepares to land at the Miami International Airport on May 02, 2023 in Miami, Florida. 

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

American Airlines and its pilots have reached a preliminary agreement for a new four-year labor contract after months of tense negotiations, a milestone for the country’s biggest carrier.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but are likely to include raises as the industry faces a pilot shortage and aviators seek better pay after the Covid-19 pandemic paused new contracts for years.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said in March that a new four-year deal could include cumulative raises of 40%.

American’s roughly 15,000 pilots would still need to ratify a tentative agreement.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement in principle on a new four-year contract with the Allied Pilots Association (APA) that provides our pilots with pay and profit sharing that match the top of the industry with improved quality-of-life provisions unique to American’s pilots,” an American spokeswoman said in a statement.

Negotiations across the industry have been tense. American’s pilots recently authorized the union to call a strike if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

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