US Airways pilots approve merger-related agreement

American Airlines and US Airways jets appear on April 23, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

DALLAS US Airways (LCC) pilots have overwhelmingly approved an agreement that would result in pay raises if their company merges with American Airlines.

Union president Gary Hummel said Friday that the agreement would give pilots $1.6 billion in considerations over six years.

American parent AMR Corp. and US Airways are in advanced negotiations on a merger with an announcement possible early next week, according to people familiar with the private talks.

The US Airline Pilots Association said 75 percent of its members favored the "memorandum of agreement" that details how they would be treated if a merger takes place. The Allied Pilots Association, or APA, at American had already approved a similar agreement.

Hummel said ratification of the memorandum insures that US Airways pilots -- who are paid less than those at American -- "will arrive at the merger as equal partners with APA in pay, benefits and working conditions."

The deal provides for US Airways pilots to be paid the same as American Airlines pilots and to get an increase in retirement contributions. A captain of an Airbus A330 jet, for example, could see top-scale pay nearly double, to about $300,000 in 2018. First officers, or co-pilots, earn less.

For the most part, pilots from each airline would continue to fly that carrier's current planes and planes on order after the merger.