PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, announced on Friday that it would be giving its pilots a 50% pay raise through August of 2024. This makes PSA the last of American’s regional partners to announce a temporary pay upgrade for its pilots. In announcing the deal, the company stated that it had worked with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) to reach an agreement that would greatly enhance the pilots’ compensation, standard of living, and career progression.
The terms of this deal will make American’s regional pilots some of the highest paid in the industry. First officers will see a pay increase to $90 an hour, while first-year captains will earn $146 an hour. This is a significant raise from their previous pay rates, and will put them far above their competitors. With bonuses, PSA pilots can expect to earn 10% more than their peers at other airlines over the next five years.
The pilots who will see the biggest benefit are those who fly line checks, and they will receive a 200% pay increase. At the same time, full-time simulator instructors, those who fly proficiency checks, and aircrew program designees will also see a significant pay increase. This move by American Airlines comes after they said they had to park nearly 100 airplanes because they couldn’t find enough pilots to fly them. In response, two senators who serve on the Senate Commerce Committee, which monitors the aviation industry, have called on the Department of Transportation to begin holding airlines to a higher standard.
After nearly 2,800 flights were canceled by multiple airlines over Memorial Day weekend, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward J. Markey said they appreciated that airlines needed to increase their staff to meet the public demand for travel, but that flight cancellations were burdensome to the public. In a statement, the senators said that such occurrences pose significant hardships to the traveling public and urged airlines to take all necessary steps to mitigate those disruptions.