Superferry gets holiday boost
The company said the ship's monthly passenger load may be a record
Memorial Day weekend traffic will help boost Hawaii Superferry passenger loads this month into record territory, the company said yesterday, although it has yet to reach the break-even mark.
The Alakai is now projected to transport more than 21,000 passengers and 5,800 vehicles in May, with more than 5,500 passengers and 1,500 vehicles shipped from last Friday through Monday.
It was the first full month of operations for the Superferry, which restarted daily service to Maui on April 7 after nearly two months of maintenance and repair work. A second roundtrip voyage to Kahului was launched on May 9, with afternoon service on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The 866-passenger vessel first sailed to Maui from Oahu in late August, but legal delays and high seas forced it to shut down until December. May saw nearly quadruple the number of passengers of April, when it carried a high of 5,665 passengers and 1,747 vehicles.
However, May's numbers put the Superferry at only a little more than half its break-even business model of 400 passengers and 110 vehicles per trip. Including the 13 afternoon round-trip voyages to Maui, the Superferry averaged 239 passengers and 66 vehicles a trip at discounted prices.
The company does not disclose financial information, but "passenger levels are building at projected rates," outside spokeswoman Lori Abe said.
"With the recent addition of our afternoon service four days a week and our $49 summer passenger fare special, we anticipate passenger loads between Maui and Oahu will continue to increase," Superferry President and CEO Tom Fargo said in a statement.
The Superferry is offering $39 passenger and $55 passenger vehicle one-way promotional fares for travel through June 5, not including taxes and fees. After that, prices will rise to $49 passenger and $65 passenger vehicle one-way through September 30, with fares for people 62 and older, children ages 2 through 12 and retired military personnel available at $39.
No timeline has been set for service to Kauai, Abe said. A second ship is planned for service to the Big Island starting early next year.