Airline Files for Chapter 11
Citing its inability to generate sufficient revenues from its interisland passenger service due to predatory pricing by Go! Airline and rising fuel costs, Aloha Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection last week.
“It is a travesty and a tragedy that the illegal actions of a competitor and other factors completely beyond our control have forced us to take this action,” said David A. Banmiller, Aloha’s president and CEO. “Through this filing, we hope to achieve a successful outcome that will protect the jobs of 3,500 dedicated employees who have made extraordinary sacrifices for Aloha and to continue to earn the support of our loyal customers, business partners, vendors and financial backers.”
Aloha will seek the court’s approval to allow the Hawaii-based company to continue operating. And, in order to protect jobs and continue to honor passenger travel reservations, the airline is also seeking approval of a cash collateral financing arrangement with its principal working capital lender, General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), to provide financing for operations pending a further hearing in accordance with bankruptcy rules.
“We are reaching out to all our friends here in Hawaii and around the world who continue to support Aloha Airlines as we work round the clock making every effort to continue our 61-year tradition of serving our island home in the spirit of Aloha,” said Banmiller.
Molokai Ranch Fades Into the Sunset
The Lodge & Beach Village at Molokai Ranch
More than 120 employees have been laid off as a result of Molokai Ranch’s decision to shut down operations and terminate a controversial residential development plan to develop 200 lots at Laau Point. Molokai Ranch, which owns approximately 35 percent of Molokai (around 64,000 acres), said that all its major operations such as Kaupoa Beach Village, the Kaluakoi Golf Course, Molokai Lodge and the Maunaloa movie theater will conclude at the end of March.
In a statement, Molokai Ranch CEO Peter Nicholas said: “We deeply regret to have taken this step as the main impact will be on our loyal employees. The decision is purely a business one.”
The company was the largest private employer and landowner on the island.
Turks and Caicos
This week, Pleasant Holidays announced the launch of its Caribbean Program, which offers a 16 percent commission on bookings made April 1-May 31. The program is comprised of comprehensive packages to key leisure destinations from Puerto Rico to St. Kitts/Nevis to Turks and Caicos and many others. The over 80 resort and condominium partnerships range from Sandals to The Ritz-Carlton, while Delta, United and Air Jamaica are among the major airline partners.
Starting on March 31, the packages will open for booking online and by phone.
One Love, Many Flights
Air Jamaica, the only airline offering nonstop service from Los Angeles to Jamaica, will offer six weekly flights from LAX to Montego Bay starting April 1. Departing daily, with the exception of Thursdays, the flights will depart LAX at 10:30 p.m. and arrive the following morning in Montego Bay at 6:15 a.m., a 5½-hour journey. (Return flights depart at 4:50 p.m. and arrive at LAX at 8:55 p.m.)
Paul Pennicook, Air Jamaica’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said that the company’s legendary hospitality and distinguishing offerings such as complimentary champagne and free in-flight entertainment are some of the reasons why Air Jamaica has remained popular over the years.
“The vacation experience begins the moment they get on board,” he said.