Airfare War Heats Up Again

Peter Forman
Peter Forman

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Go! quietly began $9 one-way tickets to the Neighbor Islands and Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines quickly followed.

So what is this airfare war doing to the local industry?

"This isn't about making money," said Peter Forman, airline expert.

Forman has been studying the industry for years. He says this is about go! punishing the competition and trying to make a name for itself in a very tight market.

When it comes to interisland travel, go! officials want people to think of them first, instead of shopping around for other carriers.

That's why go! says it's important to get people to try its product.

"They dropped prices down to $19 and then still only fill up two-thirds of their planes at the most so what they're trying to do is bump their numbers up over the summertime," said Forman.

In this promotion, travelers must make their reservations by June 1 and fly by Sept. 30. But many of the flights have sold out. So go! is extending these $9 flights until mid-December.

"The parent company of go! is Mesa Airlines, a big Mainland company, and they have the ability to sustain some pretty big losses," said Forman.

The carrier hopes that in the long run, these low airfares will help its bottom line.