go! departure could spur Aloha comeback

Published: Mar. 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Could the end of go! Airlines in Hawaii clear the way for an Aloha Airlines comeback? It's a tantalizing thought for many people still stung by the inter-island shakeup. And get this go!'s last day of service on March 31 will be the 6 year anniversary of Aloha's final flight.

There isn't nearly the same sadness surrounding the end of go! that there was for Aloha Airlines.

"Go is withdrawing from the market essentially eating its karma," said David Farmer, who was the attorney for Aloha Airlines.

Farmer says its karma because some blamed go! for pushing Aloha out of business.

"There was never any embrace of this brand, in fact there was resentment so I think the mindset of don't let the door hit you on the way out is what it is," said Farmer.

He does say the Aloha Airlines name is still for sale. This could be the right time for someone to buy the name and re-brand it.

"Then we're back to Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. I think for many of us local people that would be a nice thing," said Farmer.

Lawmakers say there are other carriers interested in Hawaii, namely Alaska Airlines, which has met with state leaders over the past few years.

"They've sent teams to come out and look at our infrastructure, to talk with our Department of Transportation Airports people so we may see other carriers," said State Senator Kalani English, (D) East and Upcountry Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

Until another carrier opens or expands in Hawaii some fear prices taking off. But others don't expect too much of an ascent.

"Hawaiian already really has a monopoly so they're doing what they can so they're not going to go up a whole lot because of this," said John Steelquist, Ph.D., Chaminade University Business Professor.

"We're hoping that they will continue to be that good partner knowing that they are operating in a de facto monopoly and not exploit that situation," said Sen. English.

There isn't much lawmakers can do even if they wanted to except maybe wave goodbye.

"We're saying aloha to go," said Sen. English.

A Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson says the situation hasn't changed much saying there is still plenty of competition. They also say they can't make any predictions on pricing saying it would be price signaling which is illegal.

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