Business briefs


POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009

Island Air offers $49 fare promotion

Island Air is the latest Hawaii carrier to offer fare discounts during the soft fall season.

The carrier will offer $49 one-way fares for tickets purchased today. Those fares, which do not include taxes and other fees, are valid for travel from Sept. 8 to Oct. 31.

Island Air offers 316 weekly flights among Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Molokai and Lanai.

For more information, go to www.islandair.com.


HMSA offers coverage to teachers

The Hawaii State Teachers Association's VEBA Trust Office and Hawaii Medical Service Association are offering a special enrollment period for teachers who want to retain HMSA coverage.

The HSTA VEBA office must receive enrollment forms by Sept. 21, and coverage will take effect Oct. 1.

Tempe, Ariz.-based HMA Inc., a sister company of Summerlin Life and Health Insurance Co. and part of the i/mx Cos., had been selected by the HSTA VEBA trustees to supply health insurance to HSTA members, and the insurer began offering coverage July 1. But HSTA VEBA trustees reconsidered their decision after further negotiations with HMSA and input from HSTA members, and opened a special enrollment period for the former 8,000 HMSA members (encompassing 19,000 with family members) who were with HMSA prior to the switch. Last year, HSTA members had a choice between Kaiser and HMSA.

For more information or to receive a packet, contact the HSTA VEBA Trust Office at 591-2823 on Oahu or 1-800-637-4926 on neighbor islands. HSTA VEBA members with questions can call HMSA at 948-6111 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.


Tokyo to get electric-powered taxis

Better Place, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that hopes to roll out a mass-market electric vehicle system in Hawaii, will launch a pilot electric taxi program in Tokyo.

Better Place has a deal with the Japanese government to offer electric taxis with switchable batteries, in partnership with Nihon Kotsu, Tokyo's largest taxi operator. To launch the project, Better Place will build a battery switch site in central Tokyo and offer up to four newly modified electric taxis.

In Hawaii, Better Place envisions putting 3,000 electric cars in circulation by next year and 50,400 by 2015, along with a network of up to 100,000 charging stations powered by renewable energy.


Isle wastewater bond outlook raised

Fitch Ratings has given ratings of AA- and A+ to Honolulu's wastewater system revenue bonds.

Honolulu's senior series 2009A, 2009B and 2009C, which are used to fund the city's $120 million wastewater system, have received an AA- rating by Fitch. Honolulu's $130 million wastewater system revenue bonds, which include the junior series 2009A, have received an A+ rating by Fitch. Fitch also affirmed the AA- rating on the wastewater system's $714.2 million in outstanding senior revenue bonds, and an A+ rating on the system's outstanding $452.6 million of junior revenue bonds. The rating outlook on all bonds was revised to stable from negative.



;  Dubai Mercantile Exchange Ltd. has appointed Fereidun Fesharaki to the board of directors. He is an East-West Center senior fellow, chairman of FACTS Global Energy and co-editor of “;Asia's Energy Future: Regional Dynamics and Global Implications.”;

Ann Ikuta was selected as sales and events manager at Hotel Wailea Maui. She previously was director of revenue at Four Seasons Maui as well as reservations and housekeeping manager.