Allied Pilots Association (APA), which serves as the certified collective bargaining agent for pilots who fly for American Airlines, convened a voting conference call to approve the Letter of Agreement (LOA) 20-001 – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Pay Protect
Image credit: American Airlines photo by Brandon Wade

APA President CA Eric Ferguson outlines LOA-20-001 below, which has two primary provisions: pay protection for pilots impacted by COVID-19, and incentivized voluntary leaves of absence.

Pilots who are placed in quarantine based on concerns related to COVID-19 or who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be pay protected during the duration of the evaluation, treatment, or quarantine. Pay protection also applies to pilots who self-quarantine due to a family member being diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, pilots who call in sick and are subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 will have their sick time restored to their bank and will be pay protected.

APA will also offer three different voluntary leaves of absences, which are designed to reduce temporary pilot overages caused by current circumstances:

Voluntary Extended Leaves of Absence (“VELOA”): A VELOA will be an unpaid leave; however, the pilot will continue to accrue Length of Service (LOS), will continue to have access to employee benefits at active pilot rates, and will retain travel privileges similar to an active pilot. These leaves may be up to 12 months in duration.

Voluntary Short-Term Leaves of Absence (“VSTLOA”): Pilots who take a VSTLOA will be paid 55 credited hours per month for the duration of the leave. Leaves will be one, three, or six months long. The pilot will continue to accrue sick and vacation, be eligible for all benefits at the same rates as active pilots, and retain travel benefits. Pay for the 55 hours will be eligible for 401(k) contributions and profit-sharing calculations. Pilots on a VSTLOA will be required to maintain currency but will have no other flying obligations.

Voluntary Permanent Leave of Absence (“VPLOA”): Pilots between the ages of 62 and 65 will be eligible for a VPLOA. VPLOA pilots will be paid 50 hours per month until age 65. VPLOA pilots are eligible for all benefits at the same rates as active pilots and retain travel benefits. Pay for the 50 hours will be eligible for 401(k) contributions and profit-sharing calculations. At retirement, the balance of the pilot’s sick bank will be deposited into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) at 40% of the pilot’s applicable hourly rate. A VPLOA pilot will remain in this leave until retirement. This leave is permanent and cannot be changed by either the pilot or the company.

The details regarding how these three leaves will be proffered to the membership are contained within the LOA, as well as the requirements and particulars of each leave.