February 11, 2004
ALPA: Any New HAL Business Plan Must Address Pilots’ Needs
HONOLULU --- The leader of the Hawaiian Airlines pilots union expressed interest Wednesday in a new blueprint to bring the carrier out of bankruptcy, but warned that the pilots’ concerns about any potential reorganization remain unchanged.
Yesterday Boeing Capital and an investor group called CRG filed a plan of reorganization and a motion asking Hawaiian’s bankruptcy court to approve an auction process for the carrier. CRG and Boeing have said that if they are successful, Bruce Nobles, former CEO of Hawaiian, would again head the airline. Nobles served as the airline’s CEO during the company’s previous Chapter 11 reorganization in 1993.
"Regardless of how many competing groups file plans to reorganize the company, HAL’s pilots still need the same things: pension protection, job security and competitive wages and work rules," said Capt. Jim Giddings, chairman of the HAL unit of the Air Line Pilots Association.
Giddings said the ALPA’s analysts would review the filings by Boeing and CRG and compare them to the plan contemplated by Hawaiian Bankruptcy Trustee Joshua Gotbaum. Gotbaum has called for $11 million in labor concessions, as well as freezing the pilots’ existing defined-benefit pension plan and adding a defined contribution plan.
"Mr. Noble’s previous HAL experience may give his plan some credibility, and there may well be more business plans coming forward, either from John Adams or others," Giddings said. "This validates that Hawaiian is a great airline that can be reorganized efficiently and set free to compete in our improving market. In the end, the author of the winning plan isn’t as important to us as whether the plan itself protects the pay and benefits that we have earned."
Headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines is the nation’s 12th-largest carrier, with 135 daily flights flown by 300 pilots who operate a fleet of B-717 and B-767 aircraft.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots’ union, representing 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Jim Giddings, 808-836-2572