Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hawaiian Airlines pilots ratify new contract

by B. N. Sullivan

Hawaiian AirlinesThe pilots at Hawaiian Airlines have a new contract. The pilots' union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), announced today that 90 percent of eligible pilots cast ballots; of those, 83 percent voted in favor of the new contract.

ALPA called the vote " the latest sign that the airline industry and the piloting profession are recovering from the bankruptcy doldrums of the past decade."

According to ALPA, the 68-month agreement will give pilots pay increases of between four and six percent immediately, and total increases of between 15 and 22 percent over the term of the contract. The agreement also increases the company contribution to the pilots’ retirement plans, provides Hawaiian Airlines management more flexibility in pilot training and scheduling, and allows the airline to acquire or code share with a turboprop feeder airline, provided the feeder carrier does not compete with Hawaiian’s existing inter-island turbojet operation.

Hawaiian Airlines and the pilots had been in negotiations for almost three years before arriving at the new agreement. The new contract replaces one that was ratified in 2005 to help the airline emerge from bankruptcy.

Capt. Eric Sampson, chairman of ALPA's Hawaiian Airlines MEC, said, “This contract is a win-win for our members as well as the airline. It rewards our pilots for their repeated sacrifices over the years on behalf of Hawaiian, and positions our company for future success well into this new decade. We’re looking forward to working with management to upgrade our fleet and expand our aloha spirit across the Pacific, and we would like to thank the people of Hawaii for their strong support during our lengthy negotiations.”

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