Pilots at Northwest Airlines, the fourth largest US carrier, have agreed to accept a 15% pay cut.
The Minnesota-based carrier needs to make big cost savings
The deal, which is to run for the next two years, was approved by a 89.1% margin and will allow the airline to save $265m (£143m).
Northwest, struggling against high fuel bills and fierce competition, says it needs to save $950m in total.
The company, which last year cut 4,900 jobs, is continuing pay cut talks with other members of staff.
Northwest's pilots are to get 3.5 million in stock options plus additional profit sharing in exchange for accepting the pay cut.
And as part of the agreement, Northwest executives are to take the same 15% salary cuts as the pilots.
"We recognized that this agreement alone won't solve
Northwest's problems, but it will let them overcome some
near-term hurdles," said Hal Myers, a Northwest pilot and union
In a statement Northwest said its long-term outlook remained strong, "assuming we are able to achieve competitive labour cost agreements."