Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, May 2, 2001


UAL flight attendant Mel Abrazado was among those handing out
"CHAOS" leaflets at Honolulu International Airport yesterday
morning. CHAOS stands for Create Havoc Around Our System
and represents the United Airlines employees' threat to strike if
UAL attempts to complete its purchase of US Airways without
union approval. Demonstrations took place in airports
around the country yesterday.

12 jobs cut in Pioneer's Kauai restructuring

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., a leading supplier of genetically modified agricultural products, has cut 12 positions as part restructuring its Kauai operations.

The company, a unit of the DuPont conglomerate, said it laid off 11 employees at its Kekaha production facilities and eliminated four positions at its Waimea operations. Pioneer said it will create three new positions at its Waimea plant to partly offset the layoffs.

"We explored a number of options before making these tough decisions," said Francisco Lynch, production manager.

The layoffs come as Pioneer completed its new state-of-the-art parent seed operation in Wailua two years ago.

The company also has invested $24 million in its Waimea research facility. Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer is a leading developer and supplier of genetically modified seeds and grain additives.

Aloha Air first in U.S. for on-time performance

WASHINGTON >> Major U.S. airlines' on-time rate fell to 75.2 percent in March from 77 percent a year earlier as they contended with poor weather, crowded airports and the aftermath of an earthquake.

Aloha Airlines reported being on time 82 percent of the time during March, the best of any airline.

The 11 biggest carriers' rate was up from 73.5 percent in February, according to a Department of Transportation monthly report. Alaska Airlines had the lowest rate, with 62.1 percent, while Trans World Airlines had the highest, with 81.7 percent. The DOT considers on time as within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival.

Separately, the Federal Aviation Administration said U.S. flight delays fell 6.7 percent to 30,040 in March from 32,205 in the year-earlier month.

After TWA, which is now a unit of AMR Corp., Northwest Airlines Corp. had the second-highest March on-time rate, with 81.2 percent.

Hawaii retail sales jump 4.5% in April to lead West

Hawaii led the Western states in retail sales growth in April, with a 4.5 percent rise in same-store sales compared to the figures for April 2000, as measured by TeleCheck Services Inc.

Sales in the West as a whole were up 2.6 percent year-over-year and sales nationally were up 3.1 percent, TeleCheck said. The state with the highest growth was Louisiana, with sales up 5.4 percent from the previous April. The state with the lowest growth was New York, up only 1.5 percent.

TeleCheck monitors only purchases paid for by check, but one-third of all purchases are made that way, according to the company.

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