New contract ratified by Hawaiian Airlines pilots

Hawaiian Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), have ratified a new 63 month contract worth USD 1.2bn and containing 42% more value than the existing pilot working agreement (PWA), the ALPA said.

Of the 97% of the pilots who voted, 76% cast ballots in favor of the agreement, which will take effect on April 1. The new PWA includes substantial pay raises and improved work rules, while leaving in place favorable vacation flexibility, sick leave accrual, and pilot-friendly health-care premiums.

The agreement includes pay rates backdated to September 2015 that will immediately increase pay for the airline´s 665 pilots between 20 to 45%, depending on an individual pilot´s seat, years of service, and aircraft type. By the end of the contract in 2022, overall pay rates will have increased between 36 and 86%.

A unique feature of the agreement is a new voluntary employees´ beneficiary association, or VEBA, that will replace Hawaiian´s industry-leading retiree health-care program. The company will contribute over USD 100m to fund the VEBA, which will be privately administered by a pilot-run board of directors and provides that retiree health benefits will continue even if the airline changes hands.

The new contact will also harmonize the airline´s bankruptcy-era pilot retirement programs, bringing all pilots under a single retirement plan by 2022.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada.

Hawaiian is Hawai´i´s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the US mainland.