United Airlines agrees on new terms for pilots

Image: United Airlines

A Union representing United Airlines pilots says it has agreed with the airline on terms for a collective bargaining agreement. 

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says it has reached an agreement 'in principle' with the US legacy carrier on 'comprehensive new terms' for a collective bargaining agreement. 

In a statement released on May 13, 2022, the union also explains that the terms of the new bargaining agreement still must be approved by its organs before being released to all United Airlines pilots. 

The pilot shortage is a growing problem in North America. In their 2021 study, American consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates that airlines in this region will be among the first ones to encounter this problem and among the hardest affected by it. 

“In North America, with an ageing pilot population and heavy use of early retirements, the shortage reemerges quickly and is projected to reach over 12,000 pilots by 2023—13 percent of total demand,” the study indicates. 

Similarly, in its 2021-2040 Pilot and Technical outlook, Boeing estimates that 30,000 pilots will be needed in North America over the next 20 years. However, the competition for qualified pilots will be ‘strong’: “With the dual impact of a smaller qualified pilot pool and accelerated retirements, it is expected that regional pilot shortages and strong competition for qualified pilots will re-emerge within the next few years,” Boeing predicted. 

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