February 4, 2008
ALPA, Hawaiian Airlines Reach Agreement on New Aircraft
HONOLULU, HAWAII – Hawaiian Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), ended weeks of intense negotiations today by endorsing a plan that will enable the airline to consummate a multi-billion dollar aircraft deal while the pilots continue to negotiate with management on other important contract issues.
Hawaiian Airlines management and ALPA’s Hawaiian Master Executive Council ratified a letter of agreement that creates contract language for new long range airliners. Hawaiian management had requested accelerated talks on the new equipment rules to satisfy a deadline sought by Airbus, which will build as many as two dozen new airliners for Hawaiian over the next decade.
“It wasn’t until after the December acquisition announcement that management approached the union to address wage and working conditions, which led to such intense negotiations because of deadlines imposed by Airbus,” said Capt. Eric Sampson, chairman of ALPA’s Hawaiian Airlines pilot group. “It was no easy task, but our negotiators were able to improve existing conditions for our pilots, and resolve the new-aircraft issue, which is what the union needed before agreeing to the company’s proposal for new aircraft.”
The new-equipment agreement resolves issues such as crew rest facilities, crew staffing, work rules, and health and welfare at foreign destinations. Pilot pay for the largest of the new airliners will be negotiated at a later date.
With the new-equipment issue resolved, union leaders can now refocus their attention on negotiating a new contract for the airline’s 300 pilots. ALPA’s 2005 pilot contract with Hawaiian became amendable on June 30, 2007, and a new contract has been the subject of negotiations for the past year. As part of the new aircraft agreement, the continuing negotiations on the new contract can be conducted under private mediation, federal mediation, or continued negotiations under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act. This gives both management and the union more flexibility in negotiations than is typically found in airline labor talks.
“The union did not want to be rushed into a hurry-up contract solely to satisfy management’s and Airbus’s schedule, but we also recognized our airline’s urgent need to get larger, more capable airplanes to build future business and expand into Asia, new mainland markets, and elsewhere,” said Capt. Sampson. “More airplanes mean more jobs and promotions for Hawaiian pilots, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Hawaiian Airlines currently flies Boeing 767 widebody aircraft for West Coast and transpacific operations. Late last year, the airline announced it planned to replace its current Boeing 767 fleet with as many as 24 Airbus A330s and A350s worth more than $4.4 billion. HAL also operates short-range Boeing 717 airliners on Hawaiian inter-island routes.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots’ union, representing 60,000 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. Eric Sampson, (808) 836-2572