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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 12:33 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Island Air, pilots reach tentative agreement on new contract

Advertiser Staff

Island Air pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, today announced that they had reached a tentative agreement with management after 16 months of contract negotiations.

The agreement, if ratified, will provide wage increases, work rule improvements and furlough protection.

"We are pleased that after 16 months of negotiations in a challenging economic environment we were able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement with Island Air management," said Capt. Charlie Ciszek, chairman of the ALPA unit at Island Air.

"This agreement rewards the dedicated, professional pilots of Island Air for their hard work while allowing our company to continue to grow and provide excellent service to its loyal customers."

The Island Air pilots' contract became amendable Nov. 30, 2007. Recognizing that they fly in a leisure market, the pilots and company began negotiating a short-term agreement that would provide job protections and improvements to pilots' wages, benefits and work rules, as well as bolster the company's financial status amidst declining tourism and rising fuel prices in Hawaii.

The Island Air Master Executive Council the union's governing body reviewed the tentative agreement and recommended that pilots support this agreement. ALPA and pilot leaders will soon provide Island Air pilots with a copy of the proposed agreement and address any of their questions during meetings tentatively scheduled for the last week of April.

There are approximately 50 Island Air pilots who fly more than 50 flights daily plus charter service to all eight major airports in Hawaii.