Airline expert expects fares to go up in Mokulele and go! merger

Peter Forman
Peter Forman

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A day after Mokulele and go! airlines announce they're joining forces, there are questions on what this means for traveler's wallets.

An airline analyst says, expect interisland fares to take off.

It's a partnership that airline experts say they saw coming.

go! and Mokulele airlines are combining forces to keep from financially nosediving in a turbulent economic climate. And with Hawaii's interisland industry going from three competitors, to two, airline historian Peter Forman says the deal is going to be a big shake-up for customers.

"The contest between Mokulele and go! is over and we're going to see fares starting to head up," said Forman.

Forman says the merger marks an end to the interisland fare wars, with one-way bargains dipping as low as $25. Forman says Mokulele and go! may hold onto their $49 one-way discounts at first, but expects those fares to disappear.

"I imagine they have to get pretty close to $70 a seat at their current loads in order to break even," said Forman.

That, according to Forman, is based on fuel trends and the airlines' previous cost structures. As for what this deal means for Hawaiian Airlines -

"Hawaiian has been doing a good job. They're number one in the nation as far as on time so they're doing a good job as an airline and I don't think they have a lot to worry about at this point," said Forman.

Mokulele and go! airlines have said they will continue to offer low fares.

Calls to find out just how low they'll continue to go, were not returned on Wednesday.