HONOLULU-BASED Cheap Tickets, which sells
negotiated air fares and other leisure products on line, is
dropping its nine retail stores, a move that impacts agencies on
Maui as well as in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area and Los
Angeles, Fullerton and Burbank, Calif. The agencies will close Aug.
16. Cheap Tickets CEO Sam Galeotos blamed the closures on
slackening consumer demand for "the walk-up travel agency,
particularly with the widespread adoption of e-ticketing." It will
maintain its original kiosk in Honolulu, which has a location
across from the Hawaii Convention Center.
AG: AAA DEAL A-OK -- The Automobile Club of
Southern California's secret acquisition of a majority interest in
Pleasant Holidays more than two years ago violates no laws or state
statutes, the California attorney general's office concluded. The
office looked into whether the auto club should have disclosed to
its customers that one of the travel agency's preferred tour
operators actually was owned by the auto club. "It doesn't appear
that there's any legal requirement for disclosure," said Herschel
Elkins, senior assistant attorney general. Pleasant is the largest
U.S. wholesaler doing business in Hawaii.
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES posted a profit of $3.2
million during the first six months of the year with $3 million of
that coming in the second quarter. The airline's second-quarter
earnings of $3 million were down from a $4.6 million profit during
the same period in 2000. Hawaiian said its expenses increased 5%
during the first half of the year, mainly due to an increase in
wages for training crews for the ongoing replacement of its fleet
with new 717 interisland aircraft and 767 aircraft for mainland
routes to Hawaii.
CELEBRITY CRUISES will deploy its newest ships,
Infinity and Summit, in Hawaii and the Panama Canal in 2002, with
29 one-way sailings. The 1,950-passenger Infinity will offer 12
Hawaii voyages from May 10, 2002 to May 21, 2003, visiting five
destinations in the islands. The Summit will offer four Hawaii
cruises from May 3 to Sept. 24, 2002.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Ariz.), in a letter to
President Bush, criticized American Classic Voyages' Project
America shipbuilding program for being significantly over budget
and far behind schedule. McCain said the $1.1 billion project to
build two 1,900-passenger U.S.-flag ships for the Hawaii market is
"in serious trouble" and said taxpayers may end up footing the bill
because construction of the ships is being funded in part through
government loan guarantees.