United pilots have voted to extend a contract that paves the way for a 22 percent wage increase by 2018. Bobbi Rebell reports.
United Airlines pilots gave the thumbs up to a two-year contract extension, which raises wages 22 percent by 2018. United, which is the second-largest U.S. carrier by capacity, has been trying to improve its operational reliability. Pilots are a key part of that, and they are in short supply for its regional operators given increases in the amount of flying experience the Federal Aviation Administration now requires. Many pilots are also going to be retiring soon, and airlines will need to hire more. Analysts say, the deal will also boost morale. Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group SOUNDBITE: HENRY HARTEVELDT FOUNDER, ATMOSPHERE RESEARCH GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The key thing is you have peace at United. Labor peace is critical. Happy pilots mean a good airline. If the pilots are pleased with the contract, they operate the airline on time, and that is good for the traveling public." United has endured several tough labor negotiations since the 2010 merger of United and Continental. Shares of UAL, which had lost more than a third of their value in the last 12 months, rose on the news.