Delta Airline pilots to receive a hefty 34% raise amid fears of ticket price surge

Delta Airline pilots can expect a hefty pay rise of 34 percent over the next three years, amid fears that the push for better pay and benefits will be felt among customers through higher priced tickets.

According to estimates from a website that prepares pilots for interviews, Pilot pay at Delta Air Lines ranges from $66,853.80 per year for a new first officer up to $257,657.40 per year for a senior captain.

That pay rise could mean the equivalent of $89,584.10 for new first officers and $345,260.92 from 2022 to 2025, which is nearly $90,000 more than what top pilots are earning at present.

Pilots have been demonstrating their bargaining powers while the short-staffed industry has started to see a boom in travel demand following the lull over the past couple of years due to the pandemic.

If the deal is approved by Delta pilots, it is widely expected to act as a benchmark for contract negotiations at rivals United Airlines and American Airlines.

Delta Airline pilots can expect a hefty pay rise of 34 percent over the next three years, amid fears that the push for better pay and benefits will be felt among customers buying tickets

Delta pilots will get an 18 percent raise on the date their contract is signed, followed by three further pay increases in subsequent years, according to a contract seen by Reuters.

A clause in the proposed agreement also guarantees that Delta pilots will see at least 1 percent more than rivals at American Airlines and United Airlines.

When asked about the pay hike by DailyMail.com, the airline said they were pleased to have reached an agreement, however remained tight lipped on how this may affect customers going forward.

‘We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle for a new pilot contract, one that recognizes the contributions of our pilots to Delta’s success,’ they said.

‘We appreciate the work of the negotiating teams and the mediator in reaching this agreement in principle.’

When approached again for more information on ticket pricing, the airline maintained that they would not be releasing any more information on the matter.

Any increase in their labor costs is expected to be passed along to customers through higher ticket prices, Reuters reported.

The hefty pay raises are expected to further worsen cost pressures for carriers just as concerns over a US recession spark worries about consumer spending.

Although ticket sales remain strong, investors fear travel demand could slip, making it harder for a debt-laden industry to repair its balance sheet.

They fear carriers might be forced to borrow even more money to fund operations.

A scramble among carriers, to staff up, and capitalize on booming consumer demand has enhanced the bargaining power of pilots.

Airlines are once again turning a profit after a severe downturn during the pandemic, but inflation has raised pilots' expectations for pay raises

Airlines are once again turning a profit after a severe downturn during the pandemic, but inflation has raised pilots’ expectations for pay raises

If the deal is approved, it is widely expected to act as a benchmark for contract negotiations at rivals United Airlines and American Airlines

If the deal is approved, it is widely expected to act as a benchmark for contract negotiations at rivals United Airlines and American Airlines

With the industry returning to profitability, pilots argue airlines can pay them more to cover their increased costs of living.

Airlines, thus far, have been relying on strong demand and higher fares to mitigate inflationary pressure.

Airlines and pilot unions have struggled to come to terms on new contracts this year, and rhetoric has often become heated.

A severe downturn during the pandemic has turned around for Airlines, but inflation has raised pilots’ expectations for pay raises at the same time as carriers are coming under pressure to keep a lid on rising costs.

Pilots, battered by the pandemic and a rocky recovery that they say has often left them overworked and exhausted, have been holding out for better deals that offer improvements in things like schedules and vacation as well as pay.

The proposed agreement at Delta marks progress in a negotiation that had turned tense, and the airline is offering richer pay increases than what rivals have so far put on the table

The proposed agreement at Delta marks progress in a negotiation that had turned tense, and the airline is offering richer pay increases than what rivals have so far put on the table

A severe downturn during the pandemic has turned around for Airlines, but inflation has raised pilots' expectations for pay raises at the same time as carriers come under pressure to keep a lid on rising costs

A severe downturn during the pandemic has turned around for Airlines, but inflation has raised pilots’ expectations for pay raises at the same time as carriers come under pressure to keep a lid on rising costs

Carriers have been scrambling to hire and train pilots, with short-staffed regional airlines negotiating massive pay increases—factors that have also played into the new dynamics.

Union leaders at the Allied Pilots Association, which represents pilots at American, last month shot down a proposal that would have raised pay about 20 percent over two years, saying it did not adequately address pilots’ concerns about quality of life and unreliable schedules.

United pilots also rejected a tentative deal that would have boosted pay by nearly 15 percent over 18 months.

The proposed agreement at Delta marks progress in a negotiation that had turned tense, and the airline is offering richer pay increases than what rivals have so far put on the table.

The proposal includes lump-sum payments for a portion of their earnings from 2020 through 2022.

‘There are numerous other work rule, pay, and benefit improvements that have been secured during the last three and a half years of negotiations,’ negotiators told pilots in a message Friday evening.

‘Importantly—there are no concessions in this agreement.’

The proposed deal also provides for 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, two weeks of paid parental leave and reduced health insurance premiums.

In early November, Delta Air Lines' CEO, Ed Bastian, declared that there was 'no possibility' of the carrier's pilots striking during the crucial holiday travel season

In early November, Delta Air Lines’ CEO, Ed Bastian, declared that there was ‘no possibility’ of the carrier’s pilots striking during the crucial holiday travel season

Delta’s negotiations began in 2019 and entered federal mediation in 2020, before being paused during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delta pilots voted overwhelmingly at the end of October to authorize union leaders to call a strike if they deemed it necessary—a vote that was largely symbolic but reflected pilots’ frustration with what they saw as stalled progress.

Early November, Delta Air Lines’ CEO, Ed Bastian, declared that there was ‘no possibility’ of the carrier’s pilots striking during the crucial holiday travel season.

Just days later, its pilot union voted to approve a potential mass walkout as it negotiated the new contract.

The brazen assertion was made on national television by Bastian, who appeared on ‘Today’ for an interview with anchor Hoda Kotb to discuss the state of his embattled company.

Just a week earlier, Delta pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) voted to authorize a strike, if necessary, to get better pay and benefits, amid talks that began in 2019 but were paused for nearly two years because of the pandemic .

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