Pilots at American Airlines’ third regional carrier get huge pay increase

Jun 16, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Pilots at all three of American Airlines‘ wholly-owned regional airlines will now earn significant pay increases.

Pilots at PSA Airlines, which operates the Canadair Regional Jet, will see a pay increase similar to pilots at American’s other two regionals, Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines, it was announced on Thursday. Those two airlines inked similar deals between management and their unions late last week. Pilots at all three airlines are represented by Air Line Pilots Association bargaining units.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter.

In a joint letter, PSA’s Vice President of Flight Operations Keith Stamper, and ALPA’s Union Chairman Curt Ebbert called the deal a game-changer.

“This agreement will transform the compensation landscape for our industry, putting multiple, groundbreaking enhancements in place to address pilot attrition and strengthen our network,” the letter said.

Like their peers at Envoy and Piedmont, new-hire PSA first officers will start at $90 an hour, which is the same starting rate for first officers at mainline American Airlines. First-year captains will make $146, also the same as at Envoy and Piedmont.

Those pay rates run through August 2024. If not extended at that time, pilots will see more modest raises over the current hourly rates, which start at $52 for first officers and $88 for captains.

One key difference between the deal at PSA and the deals at Envoy and Piedmont is the pay rate for line check airmen — specially trained pilots who help instruct and ensure proficiency in other pilots. PSA line check airmen will see a 200% pay credit and will move to the highest pay rate at the end of five years of service. At Envoy and Piedmont, line check airmen will earn $427.50 per hour while instructing, a whopping number that sent shockwaves through the ranks of pilots at mainline American.

More: Pilots at 2 of American Airlines’ regional airlines will see a massive pay increase

American’s mainline pilots are represented by the Allied Pilots Association, and the union and management have been locked in difficult contract negotiations for years. The pay hikes at Envoy and Piedmont caused so much consternation among pilots that American’s CEO Robert Isom recorded an explanatory video on Monday. The video was sent to pilots and seen by TPG.

In the video, Isom indirectly sought to allay concerns about how the pay rates for regional pilots would be similar to those of mainline pilots; he also recommitted the airline to negotiating what he called a competitive contract.

“As the pandemic wanes, the standard for compensation has gone up,” Isom said. “And that’s a good thing, certainly for our aviators, but equally so for our company.”

Featured photo by Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.