United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby said a tentative contract agreement between rival Delta Air Lines and its pilots union would set an industry pattern.
"It's a rich contract but I think the really good news is it means we'll all get deals done essentially on the same terms and can move forward," Kirby told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Washington late Monday. Delta struck a tentative deal Friday to give pilots a 34% cumulative pay increase in a new four-year contract.
The Delta contract deal is widely expected to become a benchmark for negotiations at rivals United Airlines and American Airlines. The pilots were able to negotiate such a favorable increase due to the continued shortage of pilots, inflation and Americans' increased travel demand following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. domestic aviation market has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels far more quickly than markets in other parts of the world, according to data from airline industry group IATA.
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