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United Airways CEO’s Pay Almost Doubled in 2023



Skift Take

Because of the finish of CARES Act restrictions on govt pay, United CEO Scott Kirby’s complete compensation practically doubled in 2023.

United Airways’ high govt noticed his wage practically double in 2023. 


United CEO Scott Kirby, who’s routinely some of the extremely paid airline executives within the U.S., made practically $18.6 million in 2023, in line with a proxy assertion United filed Tuesday evening. The 12 months earlier than, Kirby raked in round $9.8 million, and his pay was additionally across the similar in 2021. 

In 2023, Kirby’s base wage was $1,075,000. He acquired $10.7 million in inventory awards and $6.6 million in non-equity incentive compensation. 

The spike in Kirby’s pay is primarily because of the finish of CARES Act pay restrictions. Airways acquired a $25 billion bailout through the pandemic and because of provisions within the CARES Act, executives couldn’t obtain important will increase to their compensation. 


In accordance with language within the invoice, compensation was capped at $3 million plus 50% of the quantity their complete compensation exceeded $3 million in 2019. United was underneath CARES Act restrictions till April 1, 2023, however has since reverted again to its pre-pandemic govt pay construction. 

Kirby’s 2023 pay is nearer to what he made when he was president in 2019, when he took house round $16.8 million.  

United’s Formidable Plans

Kirby has been an enormous proponent of considerably rising United’s fleet and community, as a part of a plan the provider calls “United Subsequent.” 


In recent times, United has positioned among the largest plane orders in its historical past and has launched extra worldwide routes, together with the newest addition of Newark to Marrakech. The provider has been bullish on demand for worldwide journey, premium seating and primary economic system. 

United has expanded its primary economic system choices, hoping to eat into the ultra-low-cost market share, and on the similar time, has been upgrading its worldwide enterprise class product, often known as Polaris. 

“All the way in which from primary economic system, which simply permits us to compete profitably on worth on the low finish,” Kirby mentioned on a name with analysts in October, “and all the way in which as much as Polaris on long-haul worldwide, United is ready to give our prospects the actual selection they need.”


Nonetheless, supply delays and certification points with sure Boeing plane have hampered a few of United’s formidable development plans. United initially anticipated to obtain 80 737 Max 10s in 2024, however now doesn’t anticipate these orders can be fulfilled this 12 months because the certification timeline for the aircraft is unclear. 

In consequence, United is pausing pilot hiring between Might and June and can also be asking some pilots to take unpaid break day in Might. 

Kirby has been vocal in his frustrations with the U.S. aircraft maker. On the JPMorgan Industrials convention, he mentioned it’s “inconceivable” to know when the Max 10 can be licensed. 


United has additionally confronted a string of security incidents that prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to extend its oversight of the provider. Kirby despatched a letter to passengers in March in an try and reassure prospects following the incidents. 

“Sadly, previously few weeks, our airline has skilled plenty of incidents which can be reminders of the significance of security,” Kirby mentioned in a message to prospects March 18. “Whereas they’re all unrelated, I would like you to know that these incidents have our consideration and have sharpened our focus.”

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