Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, November 16, 2001

Hawaiian launches first of new 767-300ERs

Hawaiian Airlines sent out the first flight of its new Boeing 767-300ER (extended range) aircraft on its Honolulu-San Diego route yesterday.

The aircraft, seating 18 people in first class in a two-by-two-by-two seat configuration and 234 in coach class in a two-by-three-by-two layout, will be joined by another before year-end, Hawaiian said.

By 2003, Hawaiian will have replaced its entire McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 fleet with the 767-300ER and will have 16 of them in its mainland-Hawaii and Hawaii-South Pacific services, company officials said.

Early this year, Hawaiian started receiving new Boeing 717-200 aircraft to replace the DC-9s in its interisland service and will have the full fleet of 13 of the new planes in service by the end of this year.

The new-generation aircraft are more efficient than the DC-10 and DC-9 and offer a new look and greater comfort, Hawaiian said.

Distributor-wholesaler cuts pay 10 percent

Y. Hata & Co. Ltd. officials have instituted a "top to bottom" 10 percent pay cut for all 151 employees, according to President and CEO Laurence Vogel.

"Internally we decided as a company, including the owners, that the No. 1 goal for Y. Hata was to maintain everyone on the payroll, and to sacrifice any profits to make that happen," he said.

He said company officials are hopeful, based on their projections, that a "give-back" check will be in employees' hands Dec. 21, the payday before Christmas.

He said the company's financial status will be reviewed each pay period, "and the minute that we see that we are back to a point where we're breaking even, a check will be cut to each employee for that payroll period."

"These are very challenging times," Vogel said, relating one company's half-million dollar hit with the loss of American Hawaii cruises as a customer.

Within the company, Vogel said employees' productivity has remained high, and that efforts to avoid errors and damage "have improved dramatically -- people are really joining hands to help us get through this challenge."

Philip Morris Cos. to become Altria Group

NEW YORK >> Philip Morris will try to clear the air -- with a fresh, new name.

The tobacco, food and beer conglomerate, which has labored to convince the public it is about much more than cigarettes, said late Thursday it will shed a corporate name long associated with the Marlboro Man and the women of Virginia Slims ads.

Instead, Philip Morris Companies Inc. will dub itself Altria Group Inc. (pronounced Al-Tree-Uh), as soon as shareholders approve, the New York-based company said.

The new name will clear up confusion between the parent company and its tobacco operations, and better reflect its growth into a company that makes and sells products including Nabisco cookies, Miller beer and Kraft foods, chairman and chief executive Geoffrey C. Bible said.

"We are not the same family of companies we were just a few years ago," Bible said in a written release.

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