Thursday, September 20, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Hawaiian Air
to cut 20% of
its flights

The move comes on the
heels of Aloha Airlines'
250 layoffs

By Russ Lynch and Rick Daysog

Hawaiian Airlines said today it will cut 20 percent of its flights starting Monday, affecting both interisland and mainland-Hawaii service.

Hawaiian said it will cancel 35 of its 158 daily interisland flights, as well as a daily Maui-Los Angeles flight and four of its 11 flights a week from Seattle to Honolulu.

Earlier this week, competitor Aloha Airlines announced plans to cancel 37 of its daily interisland flights, or about 25 percent of its interisland service, but that airline left its mainland flights in place.

Aloha Airlines Inc. has laid off 250 workers in the wake of last week's deadly terrorist attacks, which have paralyzed air travel nationwide and caused havoc in Hawaii's tourism industry. Aloha said yesterday the cutbacks -- which represent 8.3 percent of Aloha's 3,000 employees -- take effect immediately and affect workers throughout the company.

Hawaiian was not specific about layoffs but Paul J. Casey, Hawaiian's vice chairman and chief executive officer, said the airline "will need to make staffing adjustments." Hawaiian employs about 3,500 workers.

The job cuts at Aloha mirror what is going on in the airline industry nationwide, with carriers announcing roughly 100,000 job cuts since the Sept. 11 suicide hijacking attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Aloha spokesman Stu Glauberman said the airline is working with its unions to assist workers. He said the company is monitoring demand and may call back many employees if business recovers.

On Monday, Aloha announced it was reducing the number of its daily interisland flights to 113 from 150.

Glenn Zander, Aloha's chief executive officer, said then that the decline in air travel, combined with increased security costs due to the attacks, have left the company in a "financial crisis."

Zander said that last week's tragic terrorist attack caused a 25 percent to 30 percent drop in Aloha's interisland air traffic.

In his announcement late this morning, Hawaiian's Casey said his airline needs to trim service to protect its viability. "We have no other choice, given current market conditions and the unpredictability of future demand," Casey said.

Earlier this week, Zander and Casey met with Gov. Ben Cayetano to discuss financial and regulatory assistance from federal and state officials. One proposal called for the two airlines to share scheduling information on flight schedules and fares, allowing the companies to spend their resources more efficiently.

Under federal antitrust law, airlines are barred from sharing such information.

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