$29 tickets renew airfare battle
So much for higher interisland airfares.
Just more than three weeks after Hawaiian, Aloha and go! airlines all raised their one-way fares $10 to $49 -- the highest bargain fare since June 2006 -- go! slashed its lowest fare 41 percent yesterday to $29 in a limited-offer February sale. Hawaiian and Aloha both quickly matched.
Tickets must be purchased online by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow and are valid for travel through Feb. 29. February is historically a slow travel month in Hawaii.
The airlines had raised their fares earlier this month due to soaring fuel costs. Aloha had even tried setting a $59 minimum fare on interisland flights of more than 150 nautical miles, but the other carriers did not match and Aloha dropped the idea.
Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive of Mesa Air Group, dismissed industry talk that go! was having a hard time attracting passengers with the higher prices. "We'll report our load factors at the end of the month, and that will tell a different story," he said.
Hawaiian and Aloha, which both are suing Mesa for using confidential information from them to gain a competitive advantage in entering the Hawaii market, declined comment yesterday on the lower fares.