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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 22, 2002

2 compete in interisland deals

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Merger plans by Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines would end a 55-year rivalry, but active competition continues in the meantime as both interisland carriers offer discount coupons in independent efforts to improve business.

Advertiser library photo • Dec. 2001

Hawaiian and Aloha airlines are offering discount coupon books to meet sluggish interisland travel and at the same time are showing that two companies on the verge of merging are still very much in competition.

"We initiated a coupon sale last week and apparently they did as well," said Aloha Airlines spokesman Stu Glauberman. "It is business as usual. We cannot anticipate what the other carrier is doing."

Hawaiian and Aloha officials last month announced plans to merge, ending a rivalry that has lasted 55 years. But the current discounts are a symbol that competition lives in the meantime.

"It is typical for fare sales or coupon offers to be employed during off-peak periods like this, right after the holidays," said Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Keoni Wagner. "Fewer people travel, so both carriers are trying to stimulate traffic. The carriers get creative and get aggressive and try to get more people flying."

Aloha is offering five one-way interisland tickets for $275. They can be exchanged for a $300 round-trip ticket to Oakland, Orange County or Las Vegas.

Hawaiian's deal includes a book of six one-way interisland tickets for $330, or a round-trip ticket to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas.

Both deals allow passengers to avoid the upcoming $2.50-per-ticket airport security surcharge that will be instituted across the country Feb. 1.

"In our interisland market," Glauberman said, "$5 per round trip is a pretty big percentage on the fare."

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8085.