Aloha Cargo Shuts Down

John Fiddel
John Fiddel

By Mari-Ela David

Honolulu (KHNL) -- Aloha Airlines announced the end of its cargo division Monday. The sudden shut down left hundreds of employees in shock.

At the Honolulu International Airport, many of Aloha's cargo employees were in tears. They just received notice of the closure late afternoon, so it came as a surprise, especially since there were two investors willing to buy the company's cargo division.

One of the remaining divisions left standing after Aloha Airlines shut down its passenger service is now at its end, leaving at least 300 cargo employees without a job.

"Many of our pilots have left for job interviews abroad, international interviews, and they're probably sitting with their families right now discussing the very same thing right now. It's a sad day in the history of Aloha Airlines and another sad day for our state," said John Fiddel, a former Aloha Airlines pilot.

Aloha's primary lender, GMAC Commercial Finance, told a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge that it will no longer fund Aloha's day-to-day operations.

In a statement, Aloha says, "This action became necessary today after both bidders for the cargo operation pulled out of the sales process."

"Hopefully there's some investors out there that realize the value of the employees at Aloha Airlines, all 3500, is a value you can never put a price dollar on," said Riddel.

The company says it will convert its Chapter 11 case to Chapter 7 Liquidation, leaving 85% of Hawaii's air cargo, including mail to and from Maui and the Big Island, up in the air.

Late Monday night, spokesperson from the postal service announced they will be able to continue delivering mail to Maui and the Big Island after all.

Duke Gonzales said Corporate Air will take over, but he says there may be some delays the first few days while they iron out the kinks.