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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 4, 2006

Hawaiian Air best in 3 areas

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaiian Airlines was ranked the nation's top airline in 2005 for on-time performance in the Air Travel Consumer Report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The airline has been No. 1 in on-time performance for 26 months. Hawaiian also finished the year as the top airline for handling passengers' luggage, and led the industry in fewest canceled flights.


State officials yesterday said they are seeking foreign trade zone status for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua, Kona. The designation, which could take a year to receive, would allow deep seawater bottlers to import plastic used in bottles without paying U.S. Customs duties, if those bottles are then exported outside the United States.

That could help bottlers shave material costs by 4 percent to 6 percent, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.


The Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association is hosting public meetings throughout the state that began last week regarding the impact of tourism on the Native Hawaiian community.

The series of meetings, supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, runs through April and is meant to collect information for the association's Aha Kuka Conference: Empowering Native Hawaiians to Shape the Future of Tourism, which will be in May.

For meeting dates and locations and to register, contact the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at 521-5011, (800) 709-2462 from the Neighbor Islands or at info@hawaiiancouncil.org. Information is also available at www.hawaiiancouncil.org. Walk-in registrations are welcome.


A state House bill establishing a Kunia special agriculture district won preliminary approval yesterday, a day after Del Monte Fresh Produce announced it will close its Kunia pineapple plantation operations in 2008.

House Bill 3068, which passed the House Economic Development and Business Concerns committee, would require the state's Agribusiness Development Corporation to acquire public and private lands within the district for the development of agricultural projects and project facilities.

"Kunia has the best agricultural lands in the state, therefore we need to protect these lands for agriculture use," said Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, committee chairman and a sponsor of the bill.


PARIS French bank BNP Paribas SA, the owner of First Hawaiian Bank, launched a takeover offer yesterday to buy Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA for a total of about $10.85 billion.

If approved by regulators, the purchase would be the biggest deal by the Paris bank since it was formed out of the 1999 merger of French banks BNP and Paribas, BNP spokeswoman Carine Lauru said.