Horizon Air pilots earn big with pay deal – Airways Magazine
DALLAS – The more than 700 pilots of Horizon Air, the regional sister carrier of Alaska Airlines (AS), this week ratified a massive contract that offers significant pay increases.
The pilots’ union said on Friday that first officers would receive an 85% pay increase, while captains would receive an average pay increase of 74%.
At Horizon, first-year captains will see their wages rise from $81 to $149 an hour, the highest amount among regional airlines. The first cops hired recently saw their hourly wages drop from $48 to $90.
The salary for a first-year captain increases from approximately US$77,000 to US$142,000 based on an average of approximately 950 hours per year. A first officer’s starting salary nearly doubles from US$46,000 to US$86,000.
Teamsters Local 1224 Executive Chairman Henry Simkins, Horizon Air pilot, is quoted by the Seattle Times saying that when news of the deal spread, “we had pilots, men and women, shedding tears”.
Simskins added: “They are thrilled. We had drivers selling cars for food. We had pilots who couldn’t afford medical expenses for their spouses. It changes life.
The new contract, according to Joe Sprague, president of Horizon Air, attempts to retain talent as major airlines continue to poach pilots at record rates from regional airlines like Horizon.
Horizon had to reduce its flight schedule due to the loss of pilots.
“The continued shortage of pilots in the industry has put a strain on this service, and attracting and retaining our talented pilots is more important than ever,” Sprague added. “We are working to make Horizon the regional carrier of choice for pilots, and this agreement positions us well.”
Featured Image: Alaska Airlines (Horizon Air) N628QX Embraer E175. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways