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Delta Air Line Offering Pilots a Hefty Raise in Contract Negotiations

Delta Air Lines has offered its pilots a 34 percent cumulative pay increase over three years as part of recent contract negotiations.

According to, the deal would see Delta’s pilots earn a raise of at least 18 percent on the date the contract is signed, then another five percent after one year, four percent after two years and four percent after three years.


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In addition, the pilots will receive a one-time payment equivalent to 22 percent of their earnings between 2020 and 2022, once the deal is ratified. The contract would also include 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, two weeks of paid parental leave and reduced health insurance premiums.

The union representing Delta’s pilots said the contract offer represents more than $7.2 billion increases over the next four years. If approved, aviation experts believe the deal could become the benchmark for negotiations for other airlines, including American and United.

The carrier’s pilots have been working without a contract since December 2019 and voted in October to authorize a strike if negotiators could not reach an agreement on the new contract.

While the new Delta proposal is expected to set the market for pilots in the United States, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) states that the “contract is unlikely to set a global precedent.”

In the U.S., domestic demand was only 0.8 percent below 2019 levels in October, while domestic travel globally was down 22.1 percent. In September, domestic demand in America was 0.8 percent higher than in 2019.

Last month, a study from the Regional Airline Association (RAA) found that over 75 percent of airports in the U.S. have experienced diminished or lost air service due to the severe pilot shortage.

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