It’s been a sad week for Hawaii travel authorities; Aloha Airlines has declared bankruptcy, and ceased passenger transportation. Some people taking vacations in Hawaii were temporarily inconvenienced, since their round-trip Aloha tickets obviously became one-ways. But airlines serving Hawaii moved quickly to fill the gap, and affected travelers shouldn’t have (or have had, already) much trouble finding seats on outgoing flights.
According to John Monahan, the president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, the “airline community serving Hawaii anticipated that this might happen and has been quick to fill the void left by Aloha’s closing.”Aloha reps cited increased fuel costs (boy, these affect us all!) and heightened competition for interisland flights – specifically, low-cost carrier Go! Airlines, which offered much lower priced tickets for Hawaii island hopping. This affects Hawaii’s state economy as well, what with around 1,900 people losing their jobs.
I’ve been feeling wistful about Aloha Airlines closing up shop. Every time I landed at a Hawaiian airport, I’d see their planes, with distinctive bird-of-paradise flowers on the tails; the sight instantly helped me relax and know I’d arrived at my favorite island chain. Now, Hawaiian Airlines has a similarly iconic lady-with-hibiscus-flower design. Hopefully, after the appropriate period of mourning, I’ll be able to transfer my feelings over to Hawaiian Airlines fleets’ tails. Even more hopefully, the former employees of Aloha Airlines will find solid replacement jobs, and Hawaii’s tourism-based economy will thrive.