Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: Nov. 5, 2007

THE HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE approved a bill that allows Hawaii Superferry to operate while an environmental impact assessment is conducted. Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle is expected to sign the bill this week; one of the provisions of the bill is that the government can place operating conditions on ferry service to protect whales and other marine life, prevent the spread of invasive species and preserve cultural and natural resources. The bill would overturn a Maui court ruling that blocked Hawaii Superferry from using Maui's Kahului Harbor until the state completes an environmental review. The state Supreme Court ruled in August that the state was in error in February 2005 when it exempted the project from an environmental assessment. Hawaii Superferry CEO John Garibaldi said after the vote that he hopes to resume Oahu, Maui and Kauai service by Nov. 15.

 

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES won a judgment of $80 million in damages plus litigation fees in a lawsuit against Mesa Air Group, owner of Go, Hawaii's low-cost, interisland carrier. Judge Robert Faris of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii ruled that Mesa used confidential information obtained from Hawaiian Airlines to gain a competitive advantage in launching Go. Mesa obtained those documents in 2004 when it was considering acquiring Hawaiian, which was in bankruptcy at the time. Mesa intends to file an appeal, disputing the finding that Mesa's CFO, Peter Murnane, intentionally destroyed evidence pertinent to Hawaiian's case. Murnane has been on administrative leave since Sept. 21, with Mesa conducting an internal investigation. The court did not require Go to cease ticket sales, as the Hawaiian had requested. Hawaiian is considering how to pursue any future damages that may arise from Go's continued operations. The $80 million award is only for damages sustained through October 2007.

CASTLE HOTELS & RESORTS has added the 596-room Maile Sky Court to its management portfolio. The property offers panoramic views of Waikiki and the coastline.  Resort amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, lounge, gift shop, travel desks, and 24-hour business center.

THE HULA KAI, a high-tech catamaran based in Keauhou Bay on the Big Island's Kona Coast, is now offering adults-only service (18 and older) aboard the 55-foot, luxury vessel. The Hula Kai sails daily. Cost is $155, including breakfast, beverages and lunch. Visit www.fair-wind.com.

RATES & DATES

" Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui is offering the Paradise Plus and Mahalo Dollars programs, which earn agents complimentary nights and dining credits at the resort. Paradise Plus rewards agents with one night in an oceanview studio, including daily breakfast for two for every 10 nights traveled, excluding year-end holiday blackout dates. The Mahalo Dollars program offers a $10 credit for every night booked for stays through Dec. 20. Bookings can be made directly with Napili Kai or through a preferred tour operator. Agents must register in order to participate in the program, which requires an IATA or CLIA number. Call (800) 367-5030, or visit www.napilikai.com and log in to the travel agent page.

" The Four Seasons Resorts Lanai is offering a fourth-night-free promotion at the Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele. The promotion is good through Dec. 18, with possible extension. Call (800) 321-4666 or visit www.fourseasons.com/lanai.

Hawaii Editor: Allan Seiden

Phone: (808) 734-4677

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the Hawaii E-letter, contact Debbie Joseph at [email protected].

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