By Beth Hillyer
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Aloha took a leap forward in selling off assets. Late Tuesday, a federal bankruptcy judge cleared the way for Aloha to begin selling off it's cargo and contract service divisions. Even though passenger flights are pau, air freight remains on track.
The big surprise in court is that two new potential buyers stepped up and expressed interest in buying Aloha' s profitable air cargo operations.
Only one potential buyer, Saltchuk, had come forward offered $13 million. Aloha wants to sell but lawyers representing a variety of creditors object to the rush to sell to this lone bidder.
"The concern is essentially if this process moves forward at this point it's over. The case has been decided within 72 hours of anybody coming in to look at what's going on," said Creditor Committee lawyer Christopher Prince.
Aloha CEO David Banmiller disagrees.
"There was not a rush to sell the cargo division, let's be clear, I"ve been trying for at least a year to sell Aloha airlines the entire entity because I think it has great value."
There's worry the airline's value will decrease if it's sold in pieces.
"The concern is that you've heard the state of Hawaii say leases are unitary, you've heard bidders standup in court and say if the assets are sold with cargo, no longer valuable sold separately," said Prince.
Besides Saltchuk, two new buyers stepped up.
Kahala Corporation and Castle & Cooke stated their interest in the profitable freight operation.
Also Aloha's financial backer GMAC Corporation came in with a week's worth of cash to keep Aloha's cargo operation afloat.
This allows Aloha to keep flying mail and necessities like bread to Maui
And it gives new potential bidders Kahala and Castle & Cooke more time to look at Aloha's finances.