July 27, 2009
Hawaiian Airlines Announces Another Positive Earnings Report as Pilots Renew Their Call for a New Contract
HONOLULU – As Hawaiian Airlines reported another in a long string of positive earnings reports Monday, the union representing the airlines’ pilots repeated its call for management to make settling HAL’s pilot contract a top priority.
“Hawaiian Airlines continues to defy industry expectations and remains one of the most profitable airlines around. That superior financial accomplishment is due in large part to the strong commitment and performance of its employees,” said Capt. Eric Sampson, chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
The airline reported a 2009 2nd-quarter profit of $27.5 million, adding to its impressive $23.5 million operating profit in the 1st quarter. Aviation Week magazine recently named Hawaiian as the 11th-best airline in the world in terms of financial performance, and the top-performing mainline airline in the United States.
Unlike its competitors, Hawaiian is hiring more workers, expanding its schedule, improving its liquidity and buying up to $4 billion in new aircraft. But its pilots still work under a bankruptcy-era contract negotiated more than four years ago.
“Our airline does many things very well, but solving contract related problems with pilots is not one of them. The time for reaching agreement is rapidly running out,” Sampson said.
Hawaiian’s pilot contract became amendable on June 30, 2007, and ALPA and Hawaiian have been in federal mediation since December 2008. While past sessions have all been held in California, Nevada or Hawaii, the next round of federal mediation will take place August 18 at the National Mediation Board’s headquarters in Washington, DC – an indication that federal officials are closely monitoring the talks.
“If the next meeting doesn’t move us
substantially forward, we may have to seek a strike authorization vote from our
members and ask the NMB to release us from mediation,” Sampson said. “We keep
hearing management say they have the best employees in the industry, but we
would like to see that belief, and the company’s impressive performance,
reflected in the completion of our contract.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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Capt. Eric Sampson, (808) 836-2572, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rusty Ayers, (847) 323-9519, email@example.com