ALOHA AIRLINES filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday, citing an inability to generate sufficient revenue from interisland service due to "predatory pricing" by Mesa Air Group's Go Airlines subsidiary. Aloha said it was forced to match Go's below-cost fares at a time when the airline industry was facing unprecedented increases in the cost of jet fuel. Late last week, crude oil rose to an all-time record high of $111 a barrel, and that meant an annual increase of $71 million in fuel expenses for Aloha, said the airline. This is the airline's second bankruptcy filing this decade. Aloha filed Chapter 11 in December 2004 and emerged from bankruptcy protection in February 2006 after securing new labor contracts and capital from new investors.
THE SUMMIT CRATER of Kilauea volcano, a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, erupted early Wednesday. It was the first crater explosion at Kilauea since 1924. Future explosive activity is possible, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. What began as a new gas vent in the Halemaumau Crater at Kilauea's summit sometime between March 10 and 12 progressed to an explosion that scattered boulders and rock debris across 75 acres of the park. No one was injured in the 2:58 a.m. incident.
RATES & DATES
• The Royal Kona Resort, in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, has announced its Spring Free promotion, reducing rates by up to 33% for inclusive travel from April 1 through June 7. Fourth-night-free package rates begin at $480, for a daily rate of $120 (exclusive of taxes) for the hotel's newly remodeled guest rooms. Call (800) 22-ALOHA (222-5642) or visit www.royalkona.com.
• The Four Seasons Resort Maui, having recently completed guest room makeovers, has introduced the a five-night Suite Life package, with breakfast, airport limo transfers, welcome gifts and wireless Internet and offered for bookings of five nights in a suite. The package is offered from April 1 through June 30 and Sept. 1 through Nov. 20. Call (800) 332-3442 or visit www.fourseasons.com/maui.
• Aqua Hotels & Resorts is adding a 12th Waikiki property with the March 26 start of service at the Honolulu Prince. The budget property, renamed the Aqua Honolulu Prince, is part of the Aqua Lite brand. Rates start at $94 per night. Call (866) 406-2782 or visit www.aquaresorts.com.
CLASSIC VACATIONS and American Express have partnered on the Give Yourself a Gift promotion. It requires a minimum five-night stay and purchase of the Travel Smart Plan. Customers receive American Express Gift Cards valued at up to $250. The promotion applies to bookings made through May 31 for travel between March 31 and June 30. In addition, customers booking a Hertz rental car receive a three-category upgrade (from compact to full-size). Visit www.classicvacations.com/travelagent/giftcard.aspx.
THE HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH has issued the results of a study documenting the economic impact of a ban on smoking in public places. The study showed no deleterious effect on tourism. The study reports that monthly visitor spending in Hawaii was comparable in the years before and after the law took effect and that employment in the visitor industry had grown. The study was completed by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. The institute had studied the economic impact of similar smoke-free laws in other destinations.
Hawaii Editor: Allan Seiden
Phone: (808) 734-4677
For promotional opportunities in the Hawaii E-letter, contact Debbie Joseph at [email protected].