Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, December 16, 2002




Aloha pilots agree to salary cuts

Aloha Airlines said today it reached an agreement with its pilots' union over the weekend for a pay cut for the 278 pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association. That wraps up new contracts with all four of Aloha's unions and paves the way for receipt of the federal $40.5 million loan guarantee approved in early November.

All 3,000 Aloha employees, including management, are taking pay cuts starting Jan. 1, but the amounts have not been disclosed.

Aloha hopes to make its final financial agreements with lenders this week so its $45 million loan can come through, said Stu Glauberman, an Aloha spokesman. Aloha expects to cut annual operating costs by $37 million over the next three years.

The Air Transportation Stabilization Board, the federal agency administering billions of dollars in loan guarantees to airlines hurt after the Sept. 11 disasters, has insisted on cost cuts and efficiency improvements before issuing guarantees.

ATA boosts summer flights

American Trans Air Inc. will introduce a weekly flight from San Francisco to Kauai on April 12 and boost its San Francisco-Honolulu and San Francisco-Maui service June 1, as it increases its use of San Francisco as a hub and prepares for added summer business to Hawaii.

ATA said it will resume its summertime service to Lihue on April 12, with one flight a week on Saturdays. On June 1, ATA will boost its six weekly San Francisco-Kahului service to daily service and add five San Francisco-Honolulu flights a week to the seven a week it now has.

The summer additions will run through August. In addition to the scheduled flights that were announced and existing scheduled flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu and Maui, Indianapolis-based ATA also runs Hawaii charters for tour operators such as Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays.


Union details United labor cuts

CHICAGO >> The lenders that are enabling United Airlines to keep flying during bankruptcy are requiring the carrier to slash its annual labor costs by $2.4 billion in the next two months, according to the flight attendants' union.

That would more than double the approximately $1 billion in yearly cuts that unions agreed to this fall as part of United's failed bid for a $1.8 billion government loan guarantee.

United spokesman Joe Hopkins said today the airline had no comment on the report.

But the Association of Flight Attendants told its members that United management informed union negotiators Friday that the airline's restructuring plan calls for $2.4 billion in labor savings by mid-February.

Oil soars to two-month high

NEW YORK >> Oil prices surged today, pushing U.S. crude above $30 for the first time in two months as a strike in Venezuela, now in its third week, carved into supplies from the world's fifth largest exporter.

Crude oil for January delivery rose $1.66, or 5.8 percent, to $30.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest closing price since Oct. 2. It was the biggest daily gain since Jan. 4. Oil futures are up 57 percent from 2001.

More people become ill on a Carnival cruise

NEW ORLEANS >> More than 200 guests on the liner Carnival Conquest reported symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness on a cruise that ended yesterday, Carnival Cruise Lines said.

The company said it was treating the illness as a Norwalk-like virus, the same type of illness that has sickened hundreds of passengers on other cruise ships in recent months.

The Conquest had left New Orleans on Dec. 8.

Carnival said it was working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the source, but company officials said they believe the virus was carried onto the ship by a passenger who reported feeling sick two days before the ship left port.

Sick passengers stayed in their cabins to contain the virus, and the buffet area was closed during the voyage, officials said.

FCC blamed in media mergers

WASHINGTON >> The Federal Communications Commission is being criticized for what consumer groups say is a trend toward relaxing restrictions on media company mergers.

A coalition of groups issued a report yesterday that predicts weakened media ownership rules will cause a flood of mergers, reduce competition and put a handful of huge companies in control of what people watch, hear and read.

"The public does not support the FCC's push toward concentrated media markets," said Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America. "The First Amendment is about ensuring vibrant civic discourse through diversity of viewpoints and vigorous competition."




>> Jojo Chow has been named general manager of the new Manoa Marketplace Pizza Hut/Taco Bell store, which is near Long's Drugs. Chow most recently managed the Taco Bell restaurant in Pearl Harbor and has been with TheoDavies Food Service Group since 1993. TheoDavies Food Service Group operates 84 Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.

>> Atlantis Adventures has hired Kimberly Karalovich as cruise manager. She will manage day-to-day cruise operations and ensure quality service for customers of the company's Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull vehicle. She most recently managed Waikiki's La Cucaracha Mexican Bar and Grill.

>> Nancy Grekin has joined McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon as a real estate division partner. She concentrates in real estate and business law. She has previously provided legal counsel for Makakilo Ridge's purchase and development, the Hana Ranch acquisition, and represented Liberty House as its corporate counsel before it was purchased by Federated Department Stores.

>> Mortgage Connections has hired Chris Bettis as a loan officer.

>> Christopher LaVoie has been hired by Bristol-Myers Squibb as the Hawaii region's neuroscience division sales representative. He was previously with Aventis pharmaceuticals.

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