United to trim Kona, Maui routes
By Susan Hooper
Advertiser Staff Writer
United Airlines plans to suspend one daily round-trip flight each between San Francisco and Kona and San Francisco and Kahului, Maui, from Jan. 7 through Feb. 12 because of weak demand in the post-holiday season, an airline spokes-man said yesterday.
United normally operates two daily round-trip flights on the San Francisco-Kona route and three daily round-trip flights on the San Francisco-Kahului route.
Joe Hopkins, United's media relations manager, said the decision to suspend the two flights was "market-driven" and not related to United's financial difficulties.
"The bookings are kind of light right after Christmas, and then mid-February they start building back up again," he said. "So we'll have the higher seat capacity to meet higher demand."
United is temporarily suspending Flight 36, which leaves Kona for San Francisco at 10:40 p.m. and Flight 37, which leaves San Francisco for Kona at 11 a.m. United generally operates a 182-seat Boeing 757 on those flights.
On the Maui route, United is temporarily suspending Flight 46, which leaves Kahului for San Francisco at 9:45 p.m., and Flight 35, which leaves San Francisco for Kahului at 4:25 p.m. The airline operates Boeing 757s on those flights.
United, which has more flights to Hawai'i than any other airline, has lost nearly $4 billion in less than two years. The company is trying to avert a bankruptcy filing through wage cuts, layoffs and approval of a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee that would help it pay off debts.