The shutdown is the result of a crowded Hawaiian air market. Aloha competitors include Hawaiian Airlines and low fare go! that was inaugurated by Mesa Air Group in June 2006. With both Aloha and go! competing for inter-island business, it was only a matter of time before one or the other would have to go out of business.
“We simply ran out of time to find a qualified buyer or secure continued financing for our passenger business,” says David Banmiller, president and CEO of Aloha. “We had no choice but to take this action.” The carrier will work with its code share partner, United Airlines, to assist its passenger customers. Aloha operated a fleet of 26 Boeing 737s in order to serve five destinations in Hawaii and six in the continental US.
Hawaiian Air has promised to maximize is aircraft and resources to keep inter-island traffic and cargo moving, says its president and CEO, Mark Dunkerley, as reported by Air Transport World. Mesa Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein said that go! will increase its daily flights by nearly 74%.
Saltchuk Resources, with headquarters in Seattle, is said to have offered to buy Aloha cargo operations. Any purchase is subject to approval of the US Bankruptcy Court. Saltchuck has several business operations in Hawaii and owns Alaska’s largest cargo carrier, Northern Air Cargo that also uses Boeing 737s.