Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aloha Airlines Ceases Operations

Aloha Airlines is shutting down flight operations. The announcement is below. (I do wish they would have avoided blaming "unfair" competition, or saying that passengers will be "inconvenienced" rather than, as will be the fact in many cases, "stranded." Even on their death-beds, airlines seem to be unable to speak truth.)

Aloha, battered by competition from the low-fare airline go!, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 20.

Code-share partner United Airlines is offering space available accommodations to Aloha code-share passengers with a United ticket, and offering "discounted one-way fares" for those with Aloha tickets to return home. Here's the United statement.

[Joe Brancatelli just sent out an alert to members of his subscription site with good advice for Aloha ticket-holders left holding the bag: "Worst case scenario, contact your credit-card company to contest the charge. Under federal law, credit-card companies cannot charge you for services not provided."]

Here's the Aloha announcement:


HONOLULU – -- Aloha Airlines announced today that it will be shutting down its inter-island and transpacific passenger flight operations. Aloha’s last day of operations will be Monday, March 31, 2008. On that day, Aloha will operate its schedule with the exception of flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and flights from Orange County to Reno and Sacramento, and Oakland to Las Vegas. Code-share partner United Airlines and other airlines are prepared to assist and accommodate Aloha’'s passengers who have been inconvenienced.

For more information on United'’s accommodation options, contact United at 1-800-UNITED1 or Passengers who do not wish to be re-accommodated by another airline should contact their travel agent or credit card company to request a refund. Effective immediately, Aloha will stop selling tickets for travel beyond March 31, 2008.

The shutdown of Aloha'’s passenger operations will affect about 1,900 employees. Aloha also announced that its air cargo and aviation services units will continue to operate as usual while the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeks bids from potential buyers. On March 27, 2008, Saltchuk Resources, Inc., announced its intention to buy Aloha’'s air cargo business.

“This is an incredibly dark day for Hawaii,” said David A. Banmiller, Aloha’'s president and chief executive officer. “Despite the groundswell of support from the community and our elected officials, we simply ran out of time to find a qualified buyer or secure continued financing for our passenger business. We had no choice but to take this action.

“We deeply regret the impact this will have on our dedicated employees who have made Aloha one of the best operating airlines in the country. “Aloha Airlines was founded in 1946 to give Hawaii’s people a choice in inter-island air transportation.

Unfortunately, unfair competition has succeeded in driving us out of business, bringing to an end a 61-year-old company with a proud legacy of serving millions of travelers in the true spirit of Aloha. ”We realize that this comes as a devastating disappointment to our frequent flyers and our loyal business partners who have supported this company for many, many years.”"


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