Pilots at United Airlines have ratified a new contract with up to 40% pay increases.
The four-year accord, worth roughly $10 billion over its term, was approved by 82% of United’s more than 16,000 pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association said Friday. Ninety-seven percent of pilots voted on the pact.
“I’m happy to give them a great contract that ensures we can continue the United Next growth that is creating great careers for everyone here at United Airlines,” said Scott Kirby, CEO of the Chicago-based carrier, on LinkedIn Friday.
Pilots at United are the last of the Big Three U.S. carriers to ratify a new contract. Cockpit crew members at American Airlines approved a new agreement in August, and pilots at Delta Air Lines in March. All three accords have snap up clauses that make pilot pay rates equal among the carriers.
While deals give airlines stability with their pilots, flight attendants at at least American, Southwest Airlines, and United remain locked in contentious negotiations. And cabin crew members at American have approved a strike if their union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), cannot reach a mediated deal with the airline.
The new pilot deals at the Big Three, while lucrative for staff, are also driving up costs at the airlines amid increased questions over the travel demand outlook. Neither American, Delta, nor United have reported any worsening but some of their budget competitors, including Breeze Airways, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airlines have.
The winter is the period of the lowest travel demand for the major U.S. airlines.