Aloha tries surcharge; Hawaiian reverses
Now you see a fuel surcharge, now you don't.
Hawaiian Airlines yesterday briefly matched Aloha Airlines' recently announced $5 interisland one-way fuel surcharge and then withdrew the match, as competition in the Hawaii aviation market took another twist.
On Saturday, Aloha said it was implementing the $5 fuel surcharge, effective that day, to help recover fuel costs.
Aloha spokesman Stu Glauberman said yesterday that the fuel surcharge "remains in place."
Thom Nulty, Aloha's senior vice president of marketing and sales, said last week the fuel surcharge was necessary because prices have continued to rise dramatically. Through the first six months of this year, Aloha's fuel costs came to $49.2 million, up 3.6 percent from $47.5 million a year earlier.
"Unfortunately, with fuel now surpassing labor as our No. 1 expense, we can no longer continue to absorb it."
Hawaiian declined to comment publicly on its short-lived decision to match Aloha's interisland surcharge.
Glauberman said "a couple weeks ago" that Aloha also implemented a fuel surcharge of $25 each way on mainland-Hawaii flights but he was uncertain how much it had been increased.
While Hawaiian hasn't added a fuel surcharge to its mainland routes, it did boost its Hawaii-mainland round-trip fares last week by $20, matching mainland rivals.
Mesa Air Group, which operates interisland carrier go!, said it hasn't made a decision on a surcharge.