HAWAII'S HOMETOWN AIRLINES, Aloha Airgroup and
Hawaiian Airlines, have agreed to merge -- a move they depicted as
necessary to keep both carriers from failing. Aloha and Hawaiian
said the combined company -- operating under Aloha Holdings and
using a brand name that has yet to be decided -- will continue to
operate their current interisland, mainland, and Pacific routes,
which would include the operations of Aloha's sister carrier,
Island Air. The companies also said the combined carrier --
expected to have annual revenues of nearly $1 billion and rank 10th
largest among U.S. carriers -- will hold the line on unrestricted
interisland fares for two years. The closing of the deal is subject
to federal and state antitrust approval, which the companies hope
to obtain in the first half of 2002.
GREG BRENNEMAN, former president and CEO of
Continental Airlines, will be chairman and chief executive officer
of the new Aloha Holdings. Aloha Airgroup's president and CEO Glenn
Zander and Hawaiian Airlines vice chairman and CEO Paul Casey plan
to retire from their companies when the transaction closes.
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS said American Trans Air plans to
replace its L-1011s with new Boeing 757s for the Westlake Village,
Calif.-based tour operator's scheduled nonstop flights from San
Francisco and Los Angeles to Hawaii. The 757 service to Honolulu,
Maui and Kauai will begin May 2 from San Francisco and June 1 from
ASTON ADDED ITS 34TH PROPERTY in Hawaii with
the Waikiki Parkside Hotel, renaming it the Aston Waikiki Parkside
Hotel. Owners LaeRoc Partners said Aston's management performance
at another of its properties, the Aston Aloha Surf Hotel, which
sports a surfing theme, "outweighed other bids from competing
local, regional and national brands" for the management contract.
The 255-room property is just outside of central Waikiki on Ala
Moana Boulevard near the Ala Moana Shopping Center.
THE BIG ISLAND VISITORS BUREAU launched a new
Web site for agents and visitors that highlights vacation specials
and packages at www.hawaiispecials.com The site is in addition to the
Big Island Visitors Bureau's other Web site called www.bigisland.org.
George Applegate, executive director of the bureau said the site
offers specials on packages, large resorts and smaller lodges and
bed-and-breakfast accommodations. The bureau said it has asked
wholesalers to highlight the importance of travel agents in their
specials on the site.
THE DOLPHIN QUEST PROGRAM at the Hilton
Waikoloa Village on the Big Island changed its lottery-only
admission policy to allow adults to make reservations for the
dolphin encounter up to two months in advance. Previously, adults
over age 18 who wanted to take part in the program had to put their
name in a lottery a day in advance when they checked in at the
hotel. The "pain of rejection" for those who didn't win the lottery
convinced Dolphin Quest to change its policy, according to a Hilton
spokeswoman. Reservations for children's programs remain
ASTON HOTELS & RESORTS is offering travel
agencies a 10% commission on rooms booked for travel agents staying
on reduced travel agent rates through June 30. It is the first time
Aston has offered a commission on the reduced rates for agents.