Hawaii's Island Air tells pilots its taking back their $4,000 holiday bonuses

IndustriesAssociated Press

Pilots from Island Air were probably pretty happy when they got a $4,000 Christmas bonus — that is, until the airline wanted the money back.

The regional airline owned by billionaire Larry Ellison says it paid the bonuses prematurely in October.

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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (http://goo.gl/bGeuNh ) that the company plans to take payroll action to recover the erroneous payment.

The bonuses went to about 45 pilots and amounted to less than $180,000.

The error stems from an agreement to pay bonuses before new planes arrived. However, the aircraft delivery was delayed.

Pilots who deposited bonuses into retirement plans will have those returned.

The bonuses may be restored when new planes arrive.

Honolulu-based Island Air has lost money in each quarter since Ellison bought the company in 2013.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com