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Management Pilots to Receive Up to 55% Profit Sharing vs. Your 3%

In this week’s edition of “Carey On,” APA President CA Dan Carey disclosed that APA has confirmed the existence of a profit-sharing plan for management pilots only. This lucrative plan will provide up to 55 percent of a management pilot’s 2016 W-2 earnings.

CA Carey noted several payout results ranging from $60,000 to nearly $200,000 for all those classifieds as Levels 6-8: “Managing Directors,” “Director” Chief Pilots, and all other base “Chief Pilots.” He also highlighted that even Level 5 “Manager” pilots will receive a profit-sharing payout more than four times greater than you, the line pilot, who will receive approximately 3 percent of your 2016 W-2 earnings.

So who are these “Levels 5, 6, 7, & 8” management pilots? The table below equates the job titles listed in the profit-sharing plan with the job titles listed in FM Part I, specifically in Section 2.2 Flight Department Management. (Note that check airmen are eligible for APA membership and are not considered management pilots.)

Company Level

Management-Pilot-Only Profit-Sharing Plan Title

FM Part I Title General Description

Profit Sharing % of W-2

Estimated Payout*


“MD” (Managing Director)

DFW HQ – Flight Department “Managing Director”





All Bases Top Chief Pilot “Director”




“Senior Manager”

All Bases “Chief Pilot”





All other management pilots – "Manager"



APA Line Pilot

Not applicable

First Officer or Captain



*Based on management pilot base compensation plan (97 hours paid per month at highest equipment that seniority can hold anywhere in the system) and AAL forecast pre-tax profit of $5.2 billion for 2016.
**APA estimate
***Based on 1,000 hours per year, or 83.3 hours per month

*Profit sharing awarded in 2016 based on 2015 profits. ALPA told Delta pilots that 2016 “share pool” would be more than 2015.

The management-pilot-only profit-sharing plan was disclosed in the Company’s “STI Plan Fact Sheet,” which only addresses the short-term incentive (STI) plan for management pilots. It does not include details of the long-term incentive plan for Level 7 and Level 8 management pilots. Though the amounts are not confirmed, that plan appears to include annual tranche awards of AAL stock to each Level 7 and Level 8 management pilot, with the AAL shares vesting equally over a three-year period.

Also noteworthy is the fact that a similar management-pilot-only profit-sharing plan existed for 2015 and paid out in the spring of 2016, when APA pilots had no profit sharing.

In a discussion with APA Communications, CA Carey noted that the management-pilot-only profit-sharing plan makes our managers the best paid pilots in the industry. “They’re number one, and we’re number four,” he said.

He added, “APA is looking forward to immediate discussions with management to secure a similar industry-leading pilot-only profit-sharing plan for APA pilots just as management provided for AA management pilots and Delta provided for their pilots in their recently ratified contract.”

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