Hawaiian Air announces hundreds of new layoffs as pandemic outlook worsens

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:39 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:42 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The president of Hawaiian Airlines announced another round of ’painful’ layoffs on Monday, the latest sign that the coronavirus pandemic continues to enact an extraordinary financial toll on the state’s largest air carrier.

In a letter to company employees, CEO Peter Ingram said that 816 flight attendants and 173 pilots had either been laid off or taken some form of voluntary exit package. Employees were notified today, and the workforce reduction was to be effective by October, the company said.

Additionally, Ingram said the company was anticipating a having to layoff more than 1,000 workers from the IAM and TWU unions sometime in September.

“These reductions to our teams are painful and stressful for all of us, but necessary to ensure our business survives and is poised to respond to opportunities when we are able to resume a more normal flight schedule,” Ingram said.

Last month, the company told shareholders that it would move forward with layoffs after losing more than $100 million in the second quarter. The losses, predictably, were attributed primarily to coronavirus-related impacts.

Traveler quarantines have resulted in a significant drop in air travel to Hawaii, and in his letter, Ingram admitted that more layoffs may be necessary.

“These reductions have been calculated with the expectation that the state will reopen and more of our flying can be restored this year and next,” Ingram wrote to employees. “I must caution, however, that further delays to a pretravel testing program and reopening date may require additional furloughs in the months ahead.

This story may be updated.

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