A temporary no Go! for sale of Aloha Airlines name

Carol Yamada
Carol Yamada
Randy Kauhane
Randy Kauhane
James A. Wagner
James A. Wagner

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A federal bankruptcy court judge on tuesday blocked Aloha Airlines' rival from taking its name, at least for now.

It's back to square one for Mesa Air Group's push to re-brand its Go! fleet with Aloha Airlines' name and logo. It's a move former Aloha employees protest.

"I can't see Go!, who had a part in taking us down, use the name. I can't see that," said Carol Yamada, a former Aloha worker of 42 years.

"It's almost as if your enemy is going to use your name. I don't think so," said Randy Kauhane, a former Aloha employee, also a member of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), a union that used to represent Aloha workers.

For Go! to fly under the Aloha brand, Yucaipa must buy Aloha's intellectual property rights.

Yucaipa is Aloha's former controlling shareholder.

It won that auction, outbidding Hawaiian Airlines.

But a Judge Lloyd King ruled the sale invalid, after attorneys kept a reporter from attending the auction.

"As I told the court, I made a mistake," said Bankruptcy Attorney James A. Wagner.

The sale is supposed to be public, and King ruled it was not.

Some members of IAM say they too were turned away at the auction.

"We were trying to get in. There were four of us," said Kauhane.

A new auction must be now be held.

"I expect there'll be less interest. I doubt Hawaiian will make an overbid this time," said Wagner.

It's a bid former Aloha Airlines employees say is offensive and disrespectful, regardless of who wins the name.

"It hurts. It's like someone is kicking you when you're down. It really hurts," said Yamada.