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Monday, March 13, 2000

Hawaiian matches
$40 fare increases

However, the price hikes
may not stick after two
major airlines back off

From staff and wire reports


Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said today it has raised its mainland-Hawaii fares by $40 per round trip after major carriers followed the lead of Continental Airlines Inc. in lifting fares over the weekend to cover higher fuel costs.

Aloha Airlines, which began its first mainland service in February, said it was still studying the situation.

UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, the world's No. 1 air carrier, matched Continental's hikes on Saturday, as did AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Trans World Airlines Inc. and America West Holdings Corp. increased their fares yesterday. However, the fare hikes may be short-lived.

Some past attempts to raise fares have failed after other companies failed to match. Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc., which both had match Continental's increase over the weekend, appeared to have pull back their increase today, Reuters news service reported.

"It's going to put a lot more pressure now on all the other airlines to roll this thing back," said Tom Parsons, who tracks fares for online travel company

The airlines raised leisure and business fares $20 for round-trip flights as far as 500 miles, $30 on trips 501 to 1,000 miles, and $40 on flights more than 1,000 miles in the United States.

Continental also led the industry in a $20 fare increase in January.

Jet-fuel prices for delivery in New York harbor have more than doubled to 83.3 cents a gallon from 37.1 cents in the past year.

Oil prices recently topped $34 a barrel, a nine-year high. They have since fallen back as major oil-producing nations suggested they will ease their tight rein on production.

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