Business briefs


POSTED: Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hawaiian Air fills 85% of its seats

Hawaiian Airlines filled 85 percent of its seats in June—up 3.5 percentage points from a year ago—as it carried 704,343 passengers.

The state's largest carrier said yesterday that its passenger traffic rose 1.4 percent from 694,348 in June 2008 while its available seat miles—or one seat transported one mile—increased 3 percent to 825.3 million from 801.5 million.

Revenue passenger miles—one paying passenger transported one mile—jumped 7.4 percent to 701.6 million from 653.4 million.

Hawaiian's load factor through the first six months was 83.1 percent, down 1.9 percentage points from 85 percent a year ago. Its passenger count at midyear was up 4.9 percent to nearly 4.1 million from 3.9 million.

Hoku Scientific gets $5M infusion

BOISE, Idaho » Hoku Scientific Inc., which aims to make polysilicon panels for solar energy at a plant in Pocatello, Idaho, has received $5 million from a Chinese customer, helping stave off financial woes that could delay construction and had threatened to put the company out of business.

Hoku Chief Executive Dustin Shindo said the early payment from Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co. will bolster cash flow as other customers aim to delay payments.

As part of the pact, Honolulu-based Hoku was forced to cut its prices by 8 percent, meaning the 10-year value of its contracts with Tianwei slipped to $468 million.

Still, Shindo said more cash now—as well as the delay of some early shipments—will be helpful as Hoku seeks more money to finish the Pocatello plant.

Mobi PCS adds cell sites statewide

Mobi PCS has added new cell sites on the major Hawaiian islands in recent months.

The Oahu additions improve coverage at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and throughout Moiliili and Waikiki.

On Maui, added sites improve coverage in Kahului, along Dairy Road, in Wailuku, Kaanapali and along Honoapiilani Highway.

Big Island coverage upgrades include the area between Naalehu and Punaluu, the eastern part of Waimea, along Highway 11 toward Honokaa, as well as Waikoloa, Waikoloa Village and the resort area around Hapuna.

Site additions on Kauai improve coverage in Waimea, Hanapepe, between Kalaheo and the Pacific Missile Range Facility, along Waimea Canyon Road, between Waipouli and Kealia and along Maunaloa and Kalae highways.

The Kualapuu and Hoolehua areas of Molokai will also benefit from a new site.

AIG loses court round versus ex-CEO

NEW YORK » American International Group Inc. lost a big round yesterday in its court battle against former CEO Maurice “;Hank”; Greenberg.

In an advisory decision, a federal jury in Manhattan found that a private investment firm controlled by Greenberg did not have to reimburse AIG for $4.3 billion in shares taken from a company retirement bonus fund in 2005, shortly after Greenberg was ousted as the insurer's CEO.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said he would issue a ruling in the case by the end of August.

On the move

» Special Olympics Hawaii has hired Kyle Karioka as development manager. His experience includes coordinating with donors, vendors and volunteers.

» The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem has knighted Dr. Terry Shintani for his accomplishments in medicine and years of service to humanity.

» Waikiki Health Center has hired Conrad Moreno as a clinical psychologist. His clinical experience ranges from working with Mexican-American immigrants to the ethnically diverse local population in Hawaii via inpatient and outpatient services.