Howard's business report: new airline service - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Howard's business report: new airline service

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More new airline service this week! This time it benefits the Big Island and Maui.

Alaska Airlines launches another bit of its expanding Hawaii service. Today is its first flight from San Jose to Kona, a direct connection for Silicon Valley executives with second homes in Waikoloa. It's actually seven flights a week out of San Jose but three of them wind up on Maui. That part of the service is new, too.

Slow again for some Hawaii hotels. Three quarters full, and then some, on Oahu and Maui, a pretty good 58 percent on the Big Island, but Kauai has fallen to 53 percent, below even mainland occupancy.

Governor Lingle has signed the law to limit that big jump in the payroll taxes. Employers, who last year paid less than $100 dollars per employee, will pay $630 dollars on average. A big jump, but it would have gone to a grand without the law.

Weekly jobless claims are below nineteen-thousand for a second week. That hasn't happened in more than a year, and the trend stretches across all the islands.

A controversial cut in the proposed county budget for the Big Island is the county band, which has ensembles in Hilo and Kona. The savings would be $347,000 dollars or less than one tenth of one percent of the county budget. I got this from an e-mail from someone hoping the band can be saved...Jake Shimabukuro.

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