American Airlines regional airlines to increase pilots’ pay by 50%.

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Two American Airlines-owned regional carriers will hike pilot pay by 50% through the end of August 2024, the latest sign airlines are willing to pay up in hopes of ending a pilot shortage.

The increases would make the pilots the highest paid of the U.S. regional airlines, ramping up pressure on other carriers to follow suit.

Including separate, permanent pay hikes, the temporary raises will bring hourly wages for first officers in their first year of flying at Piedmont Airlines to $90 an hour, up from $51 an hour, the company said. For first-year captains, pay will be $146 an hour, up from $78 an hour. The airline could extend the temporary hikes if needed, Piedmont’s CEO said Monday.

American Airlines to resume flights to New Zealand in October.

Airlines have been on pilot hiring sprees since last year when travel demand began to bounce back from Covid pandemic lows. But a persistent shortage of pilots is still hindering growth at a time of strong demand, prompting airlines to park jets that serve smaller cities. Part of the problem is that airlines encouraged pilots to take early retirement after demand cratered in 2020 and were left with too few when travel rebounded.

“Attrition of the regional pilots, particularly the captains, has really spiked to the point where we’re not able to put our fleet in the air,” Piedmont CEO Eric Morgan told CNBC.

Envoy Air, based in Irving, Texas, said Saturday it reached a similar agreement with its pilots’ union to shell out a 50% premium to pilots’ hourly rates through the end of August 2024.