Business Briefs


POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Interisland airlines offer $39 fares

Hawaii interisland carriers are offering special holiday fares and promotions.

Mokulele Airlines, Mesa Air Group's go! and Hawaiian Airlines all said yesterday they are offering $39 one-way fares valid for travel to Lihue and Kona through Dec. 31.

Mokulele, which initiated the fare war, said tickets must be purchased by 5:30 a.m. tomorrow. In addition, Mokulele said all of its passengers tomorrow will experience membership benefits from its Ali'i Rewards Program, which includes lounge access at Honolulu Airport, a $20 first-class upgrade and no-change fees. Those who enroll in the program before Dec. 31 and elect to pay the $39.95 monthly membership fee will receive a free one-way ticket as a gift. Those who pay for the annual membership in full will receive two free round-trip tickets.

Go!, in addition, to the $39 fares, is also offering $48 one-way fares valid for travel through Jan. 31. There is no deadline for purchasing those tickets.

Hawaiian also is offering the $39 and $48 one-way fares and said it will be competitive although it was still studying yesterday whether to lift the 5:30 a.m. deadline tomorrow for purchasing tickets.


HTA names search firm for CEO

The Hawaii Tourism Authority's search investigative committee has selected SearchWideO LLC to assist its efforts to make a recommendation to the HTA board of directors for the appointment of an executive director, who also would become president and chief executive officer of the state agency.

SearchWideO, founded in 1999, was selected from among 10 proposals.

Lloyd Unebasami has been serving as the HTA's interim CEO since the controversial resignation of its former CEO, Rex Johnson, who stepped down in October after being accused of using his state laptop to forward sexist and racist jokes and pornographic e-mails to friends.


Last chance for trees

Wahiawa-based Helemano Farms LLC said yesterday that its tree sales have increased “;overwhelmingly”; this year despite the economic recession and the recent heavy rain.

The farm, which is in Whitmore Village at the end of Whitmore Avenue in Wahiawa, said the last day for the public to purchase trees this season will be next Tuesday. Prices start at $40 a tree.


Lock Up opens new location

The Lock Up Self Storage opened its second Hawaii location last week.

The Lock Up Self Storage at 1200 Kuala St. in Pearl City is the second of three stores slated to open on Oahu.

The Lock Up has more than 30 locations nationwide. All Hawaii locations offer climate-controlled units, door alarms, 24-hour recorded surveillance and a free move-in service.


Nalu Kai files suit

Nalu Kai Inc., the maker of Naish kites and kiteboards, recently sued a Florida competitor for patent infringement in federal court in Hawaii.

Ride Best LLC, which does business as Best Kiteboarding, is accused of infringing a patent for a device that permits a kite-sailor to release rapidly from a kite in an emergency.

At issue is Nalu Kais patent 6,988,694, which was issued in January 2006. Without the quick-release device covered by the patent people have been dragged into roadways, into boats, bridges and into trees because of the inability to disconnect themselves from the pull of their kite, according to the patent.

Nalu Kai, of Haiku, claims Ride Best's offending products are also sold through Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport of Kahului.



Waihee joins isle financial firm

Former state Gov. John Waihee has joined Honolulu-based Dubin Financial as senior consultant and counsel.

Waihee, who has been a lobbyist since leaving office in 1994, was governor of Hawaii from Dec. 1, 1986 to Dec. 5, 1994.

Dubin Financial places private funds for clients in a variety of investments throughout Hawaii.



Schwab to cut 100 positions

Charles Schwab Corp., the second-largest independent brokerage by client assets, plans to cut more than 100 jobs, or less than 1 percent of its staff, as the drop in U.S. stocks lowers revenue next year.

The staff reductions will cost $20 million before taxes in the fourth quarter, San Francisco-based Schwab said in a statement yesterday. The jobs to be eliminated are at the officer level, and the company will decide in the next two months whether further reductions are needed in the first half of 2009.