Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
American Airlines and US Airways are nearing a deal. An announcement is expected next week.
US Airways pilots have overwhelmingly approved an agreement that would result in pay raises if their company merges with American Airlines, and a merger announcement appeared on track for early next week.
Union president Gary Hummel said Friday that the agreement would give pilots $1.6 billion in considerations over six years.
American parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. are in advanced negotiations on a merger with an announcement possible as early as next Tuesday, according to people familiar with the private talks.
They stressed several last-minute hurdles could push back the timetable.
The US Airline Pilots Association said 75 percent of its members favored the memorandum of agreement that details how they would be treated if a merger takes place.
The Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents American Airlines pilots, approved a similar agreement late last year.
Hummel said ratification of the memorandum ensures that US Airways pilots -- who are paid less than those at American -- "will arrive at the merger as equal partners with APA in pay, benefits and working conditions."
The deal provides for US Airways pilots to be paid the same as American Airlines pilots and to get an increase in retirement contributions. A captain of an Airbus A330 jet, for example, could see top-scale pay nearly double, to about $300,000 in 2018. First officers, or co-pilots, earn less.
For the most part, pilots from each airline would continue to fly that carrier's current planes and planes on order after the merger.
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.