Aloha Airlines Ceases To Exist

Aloha Airlines is no more. The airline is shutting down.

From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

In a news release today, the company said United Airlines and other airlines will help accommodate passengers who have flights scheduled on Aloha. Aloha has stopped selling tickets for future flights.

“This is an incredibly dark day for Hawaii,” David Banmiller, Aloha’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “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.”

Banmiller also expressed regret for the 1,900 employees this shutdown will affect.

“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,” Banmiller said.

Aloha filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago, saying it could not handle its financial troubles with the interisland fare war and escalating fuel costs.

Aloha will operate its air cargo and aviation service units while it continues to look for a buyer. It received a bid last week, $13 million from Young Brothers.

Aloha has suffered since Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc. launched a new interisland carrier called go! airlines in 2006, triggering a local airfare war.

Banmiller didn’t mentioned go! by name in his statement, but he blamed the company’s demise on rival companies.

“Unfortunately unfair competition has succeeded in driving us out of business,” Banmiller said in a statement.

Customers who don’t want to fly United Airlines should call their credit card company or travel agent, or, if they paid cash, should contact the bankruptcy court.

Aloha Air shutting down after tomorrow
[Honolulu Star-Bulletin] (Thanks, Matt!)
(Photo:randomduck)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    So, are we saying aloha to Aloha Airlines?

  2. homerjay says:

    @B: We are? I thought we were saying aloha. They’re shutting down, not starting up.

  3. sleze69 says:

    @B: Aloha means goodbye :)

  4. They were the nicest little airline. Hard to imagine them going out of business.

  5. chauncy that billups says:

    where else could you get papaya juice instead of the regular old coke/sprite/tomato juice standards?

  6. This is really sad. I had a great customer service experience with them a few years ago, and though the vast majority of their flights were short-haul island hops, there was always good service in the cabin.

    Aloha will be missed; the race to the bottom in airline service and ticket costs has claimed another good airline.

  7. AMetamorphosis says:

    In the spirit of multi-culturalism …

    ADIOS !

  8. Aeroracere says:

    The lack of ‘lei’ed’ jokes is disheartening.

  9. huadpe says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: At the same time, if people aren’t willing to pay more for that (or go airlines can do it cheaper) why not let people pick which they prefer. If a competitor comes in and can do the same thing but cheaper, they should get market share.

  10. plj says:

    Okay. They have been “lei”ed to rest.

  11. ironchef says:

    @Aeroracere:
    The radio stations in Honolulu ran with the Lei’d off jokes.

  12. rmz says:

    It has ceased to be?

    It is an ex-airline?

  13. Haplo9000 says:

    @sleze69: Aloha means hello AND goodbye.

  14. DCGaymer says:

    I’ll be sad to see them go for one reason….They had the nicest flight attendants in the U.S.

    My one regret…I never did master how to say, “Kahaha ko’u na’au i ke ‘ano o ka mea ‘ai ma keia mokulele.” (I am filled with admiration for my in-flight meal.)

  15. Mike626 says:

    Two things occur to me regarding this story:

    1. What kind of financial shape was Aloha in that they could be forced into bankruptcy after only two years of competition?

    2. Banmiller mentions that “…unfair competition has succeeded in driving us out of business.” Is this just the bluster of a failed CEO, or did Mesa receive some unfair advantage to do business in Hawaii?

  16. rbb says:

    Aloha Airlines – the only airline to experiment with the open top 737… [www.aloha.net]

  17. MadameX says:

    There were claims by Aloha that Go! was using proprietary information to get their business off the ground:

    [www.usatoday.com]

    Aloha screwed us a few years ago when they pulled out of the Phoenix market. We had a nonstop flight from Phoenix to Maui booked months in advance. While they DID reschedule our flight on another airline, it was no longer a nonstop flight and it arrived on the island MUCH later in the day. Ditto with our return flight, which left much earlier than our original flight was scheduled to depart. The result was basically losing nearly two full days of our vacation. We tried to find other nonstop flights but because it was so close to our travel dates when this happened, we couldn’t find anything for close to the same fare.

    Its unfortunate to see any airline go out of business, but I didn’t exactly have a good experience with Aloha. I’m all about Hawaiian Airlines for my island vacations now–top notch service.

  18. kepler11 says:

    I hope Go! will be forced to pay out big time to the laid off employees. They have already been found guilty/liable for use of confidential information supplied to them by Hawaiian airlines, supposedly in preparation for purchase/investment, but used instead for predatory competitive advantage. The Mesa group is just embarassing — their CFO was found to have deleted emails to cover his tracks, and he defended it by saying it was a mistake while he was trying to erase pornography from his computer. See here for just an example:
    [starbulletin.com]

  19. oakie says:

    [george carlin]ROOF FLIES OFF![/george carlin]

  20. oakie says:

    @MadameX: they coulda given you a refund instead, and REALLY messed up your plans.

    oh boo hoo.

  21. elliepants says:

    Isn’t this the company where the roof was ripped off the plane about 20 years ago, and there was some made-for-TV movie about it with Connie Sellecca in it?

  22. raehtz10 says:

    When I was in school for aviation, we referred to Aloha as “Convertible Airlines”

  23. doireallyneedausername says:

    @elliepants:

    Yes. It was ***THAT*** airline. And you can see what happened every Saturday on Lifetime. They rerun that movie to death.

    Aloha ‘oe, Aloha Airlines.

  24. XTC46 says:

    I fly aloha frequently (my job requires island hopping here sometimes) and aloha was nice. Really casual to fly on. But I have to say, them going out of business is a curse and gift. the 1900 people laid off will supply other businesses with workers (we are at almost 0 unemployement here so little companies are going out of business becasue there is no one to work) but prices will go up with hawaiian airlines and go (go is the reason aloha is out of business) and our new super ferry.

    Go! came in with the intention of putting aloha and hawaiian out of business by making $1 dollar flights or $40 flights. I hated all the people here who supported go by paying the ultra low rates thinking they were a great deal. They were all to stupid to realise they were only short term and as soon as aloha was gone prices would sky rocket.

  25. TechnoDestructo says:

    @DCGaymer:
    “They had the nicest flight attendants in the U.S.”

    Faint praise.

  26. pat_trick says:

    I work at Honolulu International Airport, Aloha’s primary hub. It’s very quiet on the inter-island part of the terminal today, where the majority of Aloha’s flights go in and out. Lots of Aloha Airlines employees standing around in small groups talking in saddened tones.

    If you have tickets on Aloha, you can get info on where to rebook at [www.alohaairlines.com] Hawaiian Airlines is honoring tickets on a standby basis up through Wednesday, and United is offering assistance for mainland US flights.

  27. Harley999 says:

    What is really messed up is that my brother’s wedding is on April 25th and Aloha Airline’s has been offering cheaper flights, so about 80 people that are planning on attending the wedding had an April 20th departing flight that now got cancelled and now the wedding party has to scramble to try to pick up flights which are now in the $600 – $1100 range, and try to get refunds for the flights they already paid for, there is probably going to be 10 – 20 people that can’t make it now because of this.

    It’s really screwed up that they would sell out all there flights knowing that they would not be able to honor them.

  28. Leohat says:

    Anyone know how big the ‘golden parachute’ the Aloha executives are getting is?

  29. badfad says:

    I’m a bit sad to see the demise of the airline but I’m not at all sad that their outdated 737s will no longer be taking off from Kahului airport. Although smaller than most airplanes, Aloha’s jets were the loudest to depart from the airport because their noise suppression standards were decades old.

    And that’s enough for me to gladly say aloha oe.

    Oh, and Go! Airlines, I like you. But you’re weasly business practices and narcoleptic pilots make you a less-than-acceptable substitute in the market.

  30. Starfury says:

    My parents live in Hawaii and had a flight booked on Aloha to visit in May. Now they’re re-booking and wondering if/how they’ll get a refund.

    I suggested calling Aloha and asking for a refund; if that failed calling the CC company and doing a chargeback.

  31. I Am the Cheese says:

    Bummer. I used them a whole bunch of times to Hawaii. I remember them playing “Friends” and nice warm, chocolate chip cookies before we landed…good times, good times….

    And they didn’t charge for the inflight movie like Hawaiian does now (I think it’s like $5 for a probably crappy movie where all the good scenes are edited out).