Island Air joins fare wars
The longtime holdout finally gives in to market pressure
Island Air is entering the airfare war.
In an effort to remain competitive with Mesa Air Group's go!, the interisland carrier is cutting prices on all flights, some by as much as 17 percent.
Lower-priced tickets went on sale Tuesday, with one-way flights priced at $47 before fees and taxes. The lower pricing will be offered until further notice, the company said yesterday.
In late 2006, Island Air laid off employees, removed aircraft from service and eliminated routes in an attempt to compete with go!.
Former Island Air Chief Executive Rob Mauracher, who resigned in December after nearly three years on the job, repeatedly criticized go!'s $19 and $29 sale fares after the carrier started service in June 2006.
"Our new pricing strategy meets the demand of our traveling public to travel more for less in 2008," Chief Operating Officer Les Murashige said in a statement. "In addition, we have added more capacity on our most popular routes, hence more seats at lower fares."
Pressure from "major competitor" go!, forced the carrier, which offers 465 weekly flights in Hawaii, to lower fares, spokeswoman BJ Whitman said in an interview.
"If you look at what go! is offering we are not really going to compete with them," Whitman said. "We are responding to them and to passengers."
Island Air is at booking levels similar to last year, she said.