SANTA MARIA - Just months after taking off to Hawaii, Allegiant Air has temporarily canceled its weekly flight to Honolulu from the Santa Maria Airport for the month of February.
Now the union representing all full-time Allegiant Air flight attendants has launched a campaign apologizing for the flight cancellation.
The Transportation Workers Union (TWU) has launched a website and paid for an ad in the Santa Maria Times newspaper, which Central Coast News has a copy of, thanking Allegiant Air customers for flying out of Santa Maria Airport and apologizing for the Hawaii flight cancellation.
The ad also poses the question, "Will Allegiant be there for you?"
The campaign comes as the TWU and Allegiant Air are in mediation over a stalled new contract for the Allegiant's 600 flight attendants.
"One of the reasons that we are in contract negotiations is because the rules change very often for these flight attendants", says TWU spokesperson Thom McDaniel, "they have a specific set of work rules, and every time that doesn't work out the way the company wants or it becomes inconvenient, they just change the rules, we almost believe the same thing is happening in the markets with the customers that we're trying to serve."
A spokesperson for Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air says the company loves its flight attendants and is working hard on a new contract that "balances their interests with the company interests, its investors and all of its employees."
The spokesperson adds "we prefer to attack the issues and not each other."
Allegiant has told Central Coast News the Hawaii flight from Santa Maria was temporarily canceled due to a lack of demand in January and February, and added its a standard Allegiant business practice to pull-back or add flights keep up with passenger demand in all markets it serves.
Allegiant says the once-a-week Hawaii flight will resume in March and says more flights could be added in the future if the demand is there.
On Wednesday Allegiant Air reported its 40th consecutive profitable quarter.
In a press release, the company said it is "continuing ten years of success and growth in the volatile U.S. airline industry" and that the "Company's unique approach has allowed it to thrive, while making travel affordable for nearly 40 million passengers."
Allegiant Travel Company President Andrew Levy is quoted in the release as saying, "we are so fortunate to have a great team of people - from management to frontline employees - who have worked very hard to get us here."
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