Aloha unit signs deal with Mesa


POSTED: Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aloha Contract Services, the surviving affiliate of now-defunct Aloha Airlines, has won the passenger and ground handling services contract from one-time rival Mesa Airlines Inc., the parent company of interisland carrier go!.

The three-year contract, valued at more than $3 million, is for go!'s service routes between Honolulu and Kahului, Maui; Kona on the Big Island; and Lihue, Kauai. United Airlines previously held the contract.

“;Go! was looking for local market experience and improved customer service for their guests,”; said Aloha's CEO Beti Ward, who also owns Pacific Air Cargo LLC, which provides air cargo service locally and to the Pacific Islands. “;It's going to be a great partnership because go! is really committed to their flights there, and we're committed to giving them more of an aloha-type of presence.”;

In addition, the alliance allows Aloha Contract Services to fulfill its goal of further utilizing full-time staff, she said.

Aloha Contract Services will increase its more than 600-member work force, hiring anywhere from 20 to 25 people at each neighbor-island location, Ward said.

“;The team here at go! is committed to providing our customers with the very best travel experience possible at the lowest prices and we feel confident that this new partnership with Aloha Contract Services will support our team in achieving this goal,”; said Paul Skellon, Mesa Air Group's vice president corporate communications.

The interisland airline began service on June 9, 2006, operating up to 64 interisland flights a day.

Aloha Contract Services and Pacific Air Cargo share a 65,000-square-foot facility on the corner of Lagoon Drive at Honolulu International Airport.

Meanwhile, Mesa yesterday announced it has settled its lawsuit with Yucaipa Cos., Aloha Airlines' former controlling shareholder, and will rebrand go! as Aloha, contingent upon an auction and hearing next week in federal Bankruptcy Court.