Hawaiian Air wants last antitrust allegation thrown out
Hawaiian Airlines, encouraged by a judge's ruling earlier this month involving its lawsuit against Mesa Air Group, is seeking to throw out the remainder of an antitrust countersuit that Mesa had filed against Hawaiian.
Mesa, parent company of new interisland carrier go!, filed its countersuit in March alleging anticompetitive violations against Hawaiian, but two of the three counts were dismissed at a May hearing.
Hawaiian had sued Mesa in February for allegedly violating a nondisclosure agreement and using proprietary information it gathered as a potential investor during Hawaiian's bankruptcy.
Earlier this month, bankruptcy judge Robert Faris denied Hawaiian's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent go! from selling new tickets for one year. But Faris said the "evidence raises real doubts about the propriety of Mesa's conduct" and added that Hawaiian has established probable success of its case.
Hawaiian said in court documents filed Tuesday, "The fact that Hawaiian has now conclusively proven through discovery that (Mesa Chief Financial Officer Peter) Murnane's sworn testimony was false and inaccurate in numerous respects confirms why (Hawaiian) should not be required to take the word of (its) adversaries."
Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive of Mesa, said yesterday he plans to stand his legal ground.
"I don't know what the legal bar is in proving the antitrust, but I have no doubt in my mind, and I don't think anyone in Hawaii disagrees with me, that they're acting in a manner to stifle competition so they can go back and charge people two or three times what they're charging people today."
Aloha Airlines sued Mesa in a similar suit last week, alleging that Mesa also used Aloha's proprietary information to start up go!'s Hawaii operations. Aloha is seeking damages, as well as a permanent injunction.
A hearing on Hawaiian's motion will be held Dec. 8. Hawaiian's suit against Mesa for damages is scheduled for April.