New carrier go! fills two-thirds of its seats
Although that was an increase from 64.5 percent in August, it was still down from about 74 percent during July
Go!, the new interisland carrier started by Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc., filled two-thirds of the available seats on its interisland flights in September, the company reported yesterday.
Although that was an increase from 64.5 percent in August, it was still down from about 74 percent during July, which was the airline's first full month of operation.
Since beginning operations in June, go! has set a new standard for low interisland fares, selling tickets for as low as $19 one way. But go! also has brought its share of controversy. Competitor Hawaiian Airlines has accused go!'s parent, Mesa, of trying to kill off interisland competitors, including Aloha Airlines. Mesa has denied the charge.
Last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris released the text of a previously sealed e-mail message in which Mesa's chief financial officer, George Murnane III, told a consultant that it would be a "home run" if Mesa were to drive Aloha out of business without another airline stepping in to replace Aloha. Murnane also said just a week before go!'s launch that Mesa's foray into Hawaii "makes no sense" if Aloha remained in business, and that rather than simply waiting for Aloha to fail, Mesa "should be the ones who give them the last push."
It's difficult to tell how damaging a shove Mesa has managed to deliver to Aloha so far. Aloha, which is privately held, does not release passenger data.
Hawaiian, meanwhile, is expected this week to release system-wide numbers for September, covering both interisland and trans-Pacific flights. Hawaiian attained a load factor of 86 percent throughout its system in August, down from about 90 percent during the same month a year ago, before go! came into the interisland market.
For September, go! reported 61,634 passenger enplanements and canceled only four of its 1,919 flights, the company reported. Go! operates 64 daily flights from Honolulu to Lihue, Kahului, Kona and Hilo.