Robert Isom, Chief Executive, America Airlines
As a result of the travel chaos most airlines and airports the world over have been forced to contend with, which ostensibly is part of the fallout from Covid-19 and the Omicron pandemic, leaderships of smart airlines have begun subtle overtures to workers through attractive wages and humane condition of service with the view to retaining them and mitigate present chaos occasioned largely by manpower shortage by airports and airlines.
Joining the fray of the smart initiative without waiting for workers’ agitation as peculiar to other climes, the management of American Airlines, AL, is dangling an offer of a 17% base pay increase for its pilots.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AL, Robert Isom, at a zoom meeting with the pilots, announced that the management had offered a new comprehensive proposal on salary, other personal emoluments and incentives to the airline’s chapter of the Allied Pilots Association (APA).
Isom highlighted the new salaries and wages proposal already transmitted to the union’s leadership to include a 16.9% base pay increase which he described as “substantially better pay”.
He told his audience at the zoom meeting that the increase will also be extended to “many other pay components such as per diem and training pay, and a 50% premium on all reassignments, which would now include Reserves,” Isom said.
These offers are coming at the nick of time as airlines and airports especially in the US and Europe are scrambling for sufficient manpower to cope with the surge in travel demand.
Recalled that United Airlines, UA, had blazed the trail in this regard as the first major carrier to agree on a wage deal with pilots.
United had offered its pilots pay increases of over 14%.
What an exemplary initiative to imitate thus avoiding the potential danger that could exacerbate the spate of cancellations and delayed flights.
Since the last Easter season, travellers, airlines, and airports have been assailed with the dearth of qualified manpower whether as airport security, baggage handler, air traffic controller, pilots or cabin crew, among other causative factors that left airlines with no way out but to announce flight cancellations.
For example, in this month of July, British Airways had already announced over 1,000 flight cancellations at both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.