FedEx retains its pilots with bonuses of up to 110,000 USD

FedEx aircraftAmerican courier company FedEx Corp intends to provide solid 40,000 УСД bonuses to keep the pilots, who are in retirement age. The bonuses, outlined in the employees’ contracts, reveal that a large number of retiring pilots, staff shortages and rising demand for goods due to the rise in global online commerce, cause problems for the transportation giant.

Any problem in maintaining the capacity of FedEx, which is considered a real barometer of the US economic power, violates the supply chains at a time when they are already destabilized by the tensions in international trade.

FedEx and its rival Unted Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), which is trying to hire hundreds of pilots this year without paying bonuses, play a crucial role in global supply chains from air transport to retail. This is especially true for Christmas season when the average daily volume of deliveries doubles.

FedEx spokeswoman Bonnie Harrison declined to comment on the pay of pilots or the use of bonuses to hold those who had already reached retirement age. Instead, she outlined the details of the new pilot campaign launched in April this year and said the company has about 5,000 pilots.

“FedEx has enough pilots for the moment, but we always look to the future”, said Bonnie Harrison.

Two senior managers aware of the strategy told that FedEx has offered cash bonuses to keep retired pilots during the holidays starting on Thanksgiving in November and ending in beginning of January.

FedEx and UPS are planning to hire 155,000 temporary peak season workers to meet the needs of customers who will be shopping hard for Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.

The National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December to rise by 4.5% to 720 billion USD from the previous year.

FedEx expects to lose around 150-200 from its pilots approaching 65 years by the end of the year.

Pilot contracts signed in 2015 include calculations that allow bonuses amounting to up to 110,000 USD per person.

These bonuses are calculated on the basis of part of the pilot’s salary for the 24th month before the retirement date. In order to receive the bonus, the pilot must provide at least 12 months notice before retirement.

FedEx pilots are some of the best paid employees in the US, with 30-year-old pilots making roughly 300,000 USD per year, without taking into account overtime and bonuses.