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Hawaiian Pilots Respond to Announcement of Potential Furloughs

Everyone's Looking For Government Bailout Money... Again

Capt. Larry Payne, chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement in response to potential involuntary pilot furloughs:

“On the evening of July 29, ALPA received a federally mandated notice from Hawaiian Airlines’ management stating that the company intends to involuntarily furlough up to 226 of the airline’s approximately 850 pilots.

“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ALPA has been working collaboratively with Hawaiian management to preserve as many pilot jobs as possible. We have negotiated a variety of voluntary short-term leaves and given pilots the opportunity to reduce their monthly flying hours in order to save on payroll costs. According to the company, voluntary furloughs and leaves taken by pilots and other employees should save the airline $45 million by the end of September.

“Earlier this month, the Hawaiian pilots ratified new agreements that create voluntary longer-term leaves of up to two years, as well as an early retirement pathway for pilots 60 and older. We are hopeful these new programs will help reduce the number of pilots who must be involuntarily furloughed.

“Aviation is the lifeblood of Hawaii and its tourism economy, and it’s in everyone’s best interest that Hawaiian keep the number of furloughed employees to a minimum so that our airline can quickly recover once the pandemic subsides. Until then, we will continue to partner with management and our national union to protect pilot jobs and support our furloughed members and their families so that they can return to flying as soon as possible.

“With the airline industry and the Hawaiian tourism industry enduring the worst crisis in our history, we urge Congress and the president to quickly pass an extension of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to extend financial support to airline employees and other workers for an additional six months. This crucial legislation will provide valuable time for medical therapies currently under development to begin showing results as we collectively work to end this pandemic.”

FMI: www.alpa.org

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