Business Briefs


POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Airlines headed for $11B loss

Global airline losses are headed for a worse-than-expected $11 billion this year and it's not clear when lucrative business travel will rebound to pre-recession levels, a trade group said yesterday.

As recently as June the International Air Transport Association had expected airlines to lose $9 billion this year.

But airlines lost $6 billion in the first half alone. They're still suffering from persistently high fuel prices, weak demand and falling fares.

Demand for business and first-class seats has dropped 20 percent, compared with a 5 percent drop in coach.

The amount passengers will pay to travel is expected to fall 12 percent this year.

Makena Resort, union agree to pact

Benchmark Hospitality International, the new management company for the former Maui Prince Hotel, has negotiated a new contract with union leaders and will begin re-branding the hotel, which is a pivotal part of the Makena Resort.

Benchmark, chosen by a court-appointed receiver to take over management of the resort, assumes responsibility tomorrow. The property's contract with Maui Prince Hotel LLC, the hotel's prior management company, expires today. The property will be re-branded later to reflect the management change.

“;We are so pleased with the outcome of our discussions with the (International Longshore & Warehouse Union) and with the spirit of cooperation that each party to the discussion exhibited to reach an agreement in record time,”; said Greg Champion, Benchmark's chief operating officer.

Willie Kennison, ILWU's head on Maui, said the swift negotiations helped give union members peace of mind.

Japan Air faces cuts of 6,800 jobs

TOKYO » Struggling Japan Airlines Corp. said yesterday it aims to conclude tie-up talks with foreign carriers by mid-October and announced plans to slash 14 percent of its workers under a major restructuring plan.

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's biggest airline operator, and its rival American Airlines are vying to buy a stake in JAL, which incurred its biggest-ever quarterly net loss of Yen99 billion ($1 billion) in the three months ending in June.

JAL President Haruka Nishimatsu said the 6,800 job cuts would be carried out over three years and be completed in the fiscal year ending March 2012.

Garden Island gets new publisher

DAVENPORT, Iowa » Mark Lewis, publisher of the Garden Island in Lihue since 2006, is leaving to become publisher at the Journal Times in Racine, Wis. Randy Kozerski was appointed interim publisher in Lihue.

Lee Enterprises, which operates both papers, also said that Rick Parrish would move from his position as publisher at the Journal Times to publisher at another one of Lee's newspapers, the Daily News in Longview, Wash.

The Davenport, Iowa,-based company operates 53 daily newspapers, online sites and more than 300 specialty publications in 23 states.

Damaged kiln delays job training

Big Island Carbon's plans to begin job training and working with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands have been delayed since the company's custom-built kiln was damaged.

The kiln, which was in transit from Kansas, was damaged when another truck rear-ended the low-boy trailer. The damage will result in an eight- to 10-week setback for the company, said Rick Vidgen, Big Island Carbon's chief executive officer.

“;While the issue of the damaged kiln is a setback, we hope to resume our plans to begin hiring and job training as soon as the kiln arrives sometime in November,”; Vidgen said.

Big Island Carbon is a startup that converts macadamia shell feedstock into granular activated carbon.


; The San Francisco-based Small Business Commerce Association has selected Maui real estate broker Joseph D. Pluta for the 2009 Best of Business Award in the real estate category.

The SBCA award program recognizes the top 5 percent of small businesses throughout the country.


The Hawaii Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has presented its 2009 Professional Awards:

» ASLA Excellence Awards: Walters, Kimura, Motoda Inc.; Loriann Gordon; Umemoto Cassandro Design Corp.

» ASLA Honor Awards: PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.; Helber Hastert & Fee; Umemoto Cassandro Design Corp. with Leland Miyano; PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.

» ASLA Merit Awards: Helber Hastert & Fee; Lester H. Inouye & Associates; PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.; Umemoto Cassandro Design Corp.; Walters, Kimura, Motoda Inc. with EDAW Inc.; Dana Anne Yee

» Malama Aina Award: Charles “;Chipper”; Wichman, Stan Oka

» Pookela Award: Juli K. Walters, Paul Weissech and posthumously Ray Cain, Tom Papandrew and George Walters