HAWAIIAN AIRLINES stopped paying base commissions
June 24 for tickets purchased in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and
the U.S. Virgin Islands. "Hawaiian has been among the last airlines
to reduce travel agency commissions over the past four years, but
with the rest of our industry clearly headed in this direction, we
feel it's necessary to take this action to remain
cost-competitive," said John W. Adams, Hawaiian's chairman,
president and chief executive officer.
AT THE MOMENT, Aloha Airlines still pays agents
5% commission, no caps. "We haven't made any change to our policy
and we're studying what other airlines are doing," an Aloha
MEANWHILE, ALOHA, just before the June 28
deadline, submitted an application for a federal loan guarantee
with the Air Transportation Stabilization Board, which decides
whether airlines will get the loan guarantees. An Aloha spokesman
said a loan to the carrier would "compensate the airline for past
losses and higher costs of operations due to security and the
post-9/11 business environment."
THE NUMBER OF VISITORS to Hawaii continues to
droop this year with domestic visitor counts down 4% and
international visitor numbers down 21% through May compared with
the same five months last year. The total number of scheduled air
seats also is down, by 13% compared with last year, according to
the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
On the bright side, both Molokai and Lanai have had increases in
tourism this year, 11% and 7.8% respectively. Oahu is hurting the
most with visitor numbers, down 12%, followed by Maui with a drop
of 8% and Kauai with a 6.5% decline.
SPACE ADVENTURES, a firm that operates
space-like tours right here on Earth, said it will turn to Hawaii
for its next Terrestrial Tour. Former U.S. astronaut Guy Gardner
will serve as guide for the seven-day "Space on the Beach" tour,
which is set for a Jan. 21 blast off. The tour, priced at $3,500
per person, double, explores the skies, land, and seas of Hawaii.
Participants will see planetary formations at Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park; the heavens from the observatory a top Mauna Kea,
and an "alien" ecosystem from a submarine off the Kona Coast. The
tours are commissionable at 10%, with members of the firm's
"exclusive agents" club earning up to 20%. For more information,
call (888) 85-SPACE or visit www.spaceadventures.com.
CRUISING THE ISLANDS
• Princess Cruises' 2003-04 season will mark first for the line --
regular roundtrip cruises to Hawaii, with 15-day voyages from Los
Angeles. Seven sailings will be offered on the Regal Princess
between Nov. 22, 2003, and March 21, 2004, including a holiday
cruise on Dec. 22.
• Holland America Line beefed up its Hawaii offerings for 2003 with
three new 16-day Circle Hawaii cruises, which stop in the
lesser-visited island of Molokai. The line will offer a total of
seven Hawaii cruises next year, sailing roundtrip from San Diego on
CORRECTION: Last week's item about Blue Sky
Tours' $75 booking bonus left out one detail -- the bonus only is
available to agents in Washington and Oregon.