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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 31, 2004

Aloha Airlines: From beginning to bankruptcy

Advertiser Staff

The plane used for the inaugural flight by Aloha Airlines, then known as Trans-Pacific, was a war-surplus DC-3.

Advertiser library photo • 1946

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Trans-Pacific Airlines' inaugural flight. The first plane used was a war surplus DC-3.


Dr. Hung Wo Ching takes over management, changes the carrier's name to Aloha Airlines. With the change came a new aircraft: The Jetprop F-27.

Aloha got its current name in 1958. Along with the name change came a new fleet of aircraft the Jetprop F-27.

Advertiser library photo • 1969


Fleet replaced with Boeing 737s.


Merger negotiations with Hawaiian Airlines break off.


California-based Air Service Co. buys an interest in Aloha Airlines and announces bid to take control. The bid fails.


Sister carrier Aloha Pacific formed and starts DC-10 service to Taipei.


Taipei service halted. Aloha refocuses on interisland market and diversifies into air cargo service.


Takeover attempt by Dallas-based CNS Partners fails. Aloha's board decides to take the company private.


Leveraged buyout completed, led by longtime board members Hung Wo Ching and Sheridan Ing.

Parent company switches from Delaware to Hawai'i registration and changes its name to Aloha Airgroup Inc.


Adds two jets and 60 jobs in response to passenger business and interisland air freight.


Suffers first financial loss since 1985 because of Hurricane 'Iniki.


Glenn Zander takes over as president and chief executive officer.


Decision to move to a fleet of Boeing 737-200s helps produce a net profit of $3.6 million

In the 1990s, the Aloha fleet was repainted to add birds of paradise to the tail, a design that is still being used by the airline.

Advertiser library photo • 2004


Begins service to Oakland, Calif., from Honolulu and Maui.

Loses $4.3 million because of rising fuel costs and aggressive Mainland expansion.


Begins service to Orange County, Calif.

Trims interisland flights by 26 percent and lays off about 250 employees in response to drastic drop in travel following 9/11.

Glenn Zander, of Aloha Airlines, left, Greg Brenneman, center, and Hawaiian Airlines CEO Paul Casey announced intentions to merge the two airlines. Brenneman was named CEO of the new airline.

Advertiser library photo • 2001

December 2001

Announces intention to merge with Hawaiian Airlines, saying a single carrier will be able to prosper in the market in a way the two could not. Greg Brenneman, a former Continental Airlines executive, is named to head the new airline.

March 2002

Hawaiian calls off the proposed merger with Aloha, citing delays and saying terms of agreement were not being met. Aloha president Glenn Zander says Hawaiian chairman John Adams wanted to run the new airline himself instead of letting Brenneman take over.

April 2002

Begins service from Honolulu to Burbank, Calif., and Vancouver, British Columbia. Later adds service between Maui and Burbank, Phoenix and Vancouver.

July 2002

Brenda Cutwright named executive vice president and chief operating officer after serving 10 years as chief financial officer.

September 2002

Aloha and Hawaiian receive federal approval for a controversial antitrust exemption, clearing the way for the two carriers to begin coordinating capacity on several key interisland routes.

November 2002

Reaches agreement with four of its unions on pay cuts and contract extensions covering 3,000 workers that the airline said would save it $37 million in labor costs over three years.

December 2002

Wins approval for a $45 million loan guarantee from the federal Air Transportation Stabilization Board.

Begins twice-a-week nonstop service between Honolulu and the Cook Islands.

April 2003

Reports loss of $43 million in 2002, surpassing its $11.1 million loss the previous year.

December 2003

Begins twice-a-week service between Ho-nolulu and Pago Pago.

May 2004

Reports a $1.18 million profit for 2003.

June 2004

Eliminates first-class service after having been the first Hawai'i-based airline to offer the premium seating 21 years earlier.

November 2004

David Banmiller, a former top executive with Air Jamaica, replaces Glenn Zander as president and CEO.

Dec. 17, 2004

Citing higher fuel costs, Aloha reports a $6 million loss in the third quarter, its fourth quarterly loss in a row.

Dec. 30, 2004

Files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Source: Advertiser research