By Paul Drewes
WAIKIKI (KHNL) - What went wrong with Aloha Airlines to force the long time island air carrier out of business? It's a question many have been asking. Now, Aloha's CEO David Banmiller shares the answers.
The shutdown of Aloha's passenger service and even cargo operations came as a sudden surprise to workers and members of the community. But it shouldn't have been.
"Over the past several years, we said we have serious problems. People said 'ah, another airline another bankruptcy I think I'll buy my 29 dollar ticket.' And the government says 'things will work out' and you know what, they didn't." says Banmiller.
Some have blamed Go Airlines for the shutdown because of its extremely low rates. But there were other factors that were also important, like the sky rocketing cost of fuel. Ultimately, Aloha folded because their finances were grounded.
"When our lender said not another dime, and they control the cash in a chapter 11 bankruptcy, we didn't have a choice. We shut down."
Many had mistakenly believed it had been smooth sailing for this long time carrier, which had gone into and emerged from bankruptcy before. But behind the scenes, it was a scramble to keep the business afloat. "We almost shut down last Thanksgiving, we almost shut down before Christmas."
And while the end of Aloha has been difficult, this airline executive that knows the business says there will be more problems in the future. "The industry went wrong, we lost 6 carriers in the past 6 weeks, that is unheard of. And I think there are more to come."