(Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings Inc Chief Executive Scott Kirby said on Friday the carrier and its pilots' union had reached an agreement in principle on new contract terms.

Shares of the U.S. airline were up 2.4% at $42.50 in pre-market trading after the Chicago-based carrier became the first among other major airlines to reach such a deal with the pilots. The existing agreement became open for amendment in January 2019.

The new agreement will be finalized and released to United pilots for final review, pilot's union United Master Executive Council said in a statement.

"United was the only airline to work with our pilots union to reach an agreement during COVID," Kirby wrote in an Instagram post.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but CNBC reported that it will likely include higher pay and other improvements.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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