Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Aloha boosts
frequent-flier plan

Aloha Airlines today announced new frequent-flier incentives that speed up the rate at which its passengers can accumulate mileage credits for use in either its own AlohaPass system or United Airlines' Mileage Plus program.

Starting Feb. 19, program members who fly interisland on Aloha or its smaller Island Air service will be able to earn AlohaPass and Mileage Plus points at the same time.

Aloha also has doubled the number of United Mileage Plus points earned on each segment of the interisland service to 500 points, from 250.

And the airline said it has cut the number of AlohaPass points needed to get free round trips on United.

Glenn Zander, Aloha's president and chief executive officer, noted that Aloha's frequent-flier points don't expire.

The enhanced program is scheduled to run at least through the rest of this year, the airline said.

American Savings wins AMA award

American Savings Bank has been named "Marketer of the Year" by the Honolulu chapter of the American Marketing Association. The AMA praised the savings bank, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., for its successful acquisition of Bank of America's Hawaii business, positioning ASB as the third-largest financial institution in Hawaii.

American Savings was "innovative and strategic with its marketing tactics," the association said.

Helicopter firm expands to Kona

Kauai-based Safari Helicopters, which operates sightseeing flights on Kauai and from Hilo, has expanded to Kona, offering a two-hour volcano tour and a one-hour tour of the Hamakua Coast and the Big Island's waterfalls.

The helicopter operator opened a reservations office on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona and an office in the commuter terminal at Keahole Airport.

Mortgage rates rise to 6.77%

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.77 percent this week, up from of 6.75 percent last week, Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported today.

Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 6.40 percent this week, up from 6.38 percent. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged an initial rate of 5.58 percent, down from 5.63 percent.

In other news . . .

Bullet CINCINNATI -- Federated Department Stores Inc. is buying Fingerhut Cos. Inc., giving the parent of such stores as Macy's and Bloomingdale's a major boost in direct selling to shoppers through catalogs and the Internet.

Bullet ANDOVER, Mass. -- CMGI Inc., the largest shareholder of Lycos Inc., said it won't vote for USA Networks Inc.'s proposed acquisition of the No. 3 Internet search directory at current stock levels, jeopardizing the transaction.

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