United Airlines Pilots, the founding union member of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), agreed on a historic labor contract with United Airlines for its 16,000 pilots on Saturday.
The contract will notably increase pilots’ wages by up to 40% over the course of four years and offer benefit enhancements and improvements to quality of life, according to Capt. Garth Thompson, chair of the United ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC).
"This agreement in principle could not have happened without the steadfast resolve of the 16,000 United pilots,” Thompson said in a statement. “The tireless dedication demonstrated by United pilots over the past several years ensured our solidarity which was instrumental in achieving this historic agreement.”
Pilots for United Airlines will see an immediate 13.8% to 18.7% pay increase when the contract is signed. Their pay will now be on par with those of Delta pilots, who recently negotiated their own agreement.
ALPA estimates that the contract will cost the airline $10 billion over the course of four years to deliver on pay increases, vacation time, sick leave, and retirement contributions, as well as improved work rules.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby called the new contract “industry-leading” in a statement on LinkedIn.
“The four-year agreement, once ratified, will deliver a meaningful pay raise and quality of life improvements for our pilots,” Kirby said, “while putting the airline on track to achieve the incredible potential of our United Next strategy.”
The contract is still an agreement in principle, and negotiators will now work out its language before it is signed and goes into effect.
United Airlines Pilots previously voted down a proposed contract in November 2022 as airline companies compete for pilots amid shortages and pilots negotiate to close salary gaps between competing airlines.