American Airlines Raises the Bar: Pilot Salaries Increase Once Again
American Airlines pilots are about to be some of the top paid pilots in the industry, matching the contract terms that Delta Airlines recently agreed on with their pilots earlier this year. American Airlines has announced a groundbreaking agreement to provide their pilots with a substantial 21% increase for this year, 5% in 2024, 4% in 2025 and 2026, and 3% in 2027. An American Airlines spokesperson stated that “It’s an agreement that would provide 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. It’s a contract we’re proud of and one our pilots deserve.”
This not only signifies positive changes within the aviation industry but also highlights the abundant opportunities that await aspiring pilots. American’s pilots will see a 21% increase for the remainder of this year and according to the terms of their new contract, by 2027 their wages will have increased to a total of 41.5%.
Looking at American Airlines pilots’ new base salary deals, captains flying smaller aircraft for domestic and international use would earn an additional $135,000 from what they currently make. Captains flying larger aircraft and longer flights would make an additional $170,000 from their current salary, with top earners making more than $590,000.
With American Airlines taking such a significant step to acknowledge the value of their pilots, the future looks exceptionally promising for aspiring pilots to join the aviation industry. The airlines are committed to increasing salaries and negotiating new contracts as a way to compete for talented and highly-trained pilots in the midst of the global pilot shortage. This development showcases the growing demand for professional pilots and the numerous opportunities that lie ahead. As the airline industry continues to evolve and expand, the need for the next generation of airline pilots becomes even more evident.
American Airlines are not the only airline to agree on a new contract with their pilots, consisting of salary increases, better benefits, and improved schedules. Delta set the stage for pilot pay increases when they agreed on a 34% raise over three years earlier this year. Once this occurred, more pilots from other airlines decided it was time to fight for their salaries and improve pilot incentives as a whole.
American, Delta, United, and Southwest Airlines are all estimated to hire about 8,000 pilots this year. These four major airlines are setting high standards for pilot salaries. As pilots’ careers take off and they gain experience, their salaries only go up and by the looks of it, those numbers can get pretty high!
Southwest Airlines is currently discussing new deals with their pilots and have plans to match or improve the Delta and American Airlines deal, with recent reports stating that Southwest pilots are prepared to go on strike to negotiate improved contract terms. Pilots have used the pilot shortage as leverage in bargaining for their higher salaries, improved schedules, incredible retirement plans, and profit-sharing.
With AeroGuard Flight Training Center’s commitment to providing industry-leading training programs and their dedication to the air travel industry, there has never been a better time to start the journey of becoming a professional pilot. With comprehensive training programs, growing campuses, and a strong commitment to safety and excellence, we are prepared to equip aspiring pilots with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in this dynamic field. Our programs emphasize safety, professionalism, and hands-on experience, setting our graduates up for success.