The Garden Island News has published an article about Kauai County Council asking state lawmakers to explore incentivizing interisland airline competition in the State of Hawaii. The Star Advertiser and KITV have also reported on this proposal, along with others.
I like the spirit of the “Unconquered Island” lawmakers, but lets just stop for a minute right here. The whole proposal has several problems.
First here are a few snippets.
Councilman Ross Kagawa, who introduced the resolution said, “We need to speak up already. Right now this is a serious problem.”
Ann Botticelli, SVP Corporate Communications and public affairs officer, speaking for Hawaiian, said the company keeps its fares low and that a one-way ticket price from Lihue to Honolulu for 12 months ending March 30 was $68 (or $82.70 with taxes).
Rep. Dee Morikawa, District 16 on Kauai, said “Maybe the resolution will spur the discussion”
Well I DO NOT think the government, local or federal can fix any problems, perceived or otherwise, with interisland air travel. They can’t force someone IN to business as easily as we have seen airlines forced OUT of business in recent years. New or existing airlines might not want to get tangled too tightly with State of Hawaii lawmakers.
These lawmakers could have just listened to me when I warned them about Mesa back in 2004 but that’s long forgotten history now. An ounce of prevention would have been worth a pound of resolutions and “spurring discussions” but it is now 2015 and both Aloha and Mesa are long gone from Hawaii’s skies.
Mesa left Hawaii’s economy a “scorched earth” (precisely as I predicted in 2004) and Hawaii has barely recovered now many years later. Hawaiian can and will charge whatever the market will bear. No other airline wants to enter the vortex of interisland passenger travel after so many other failed operations in recent history.
The people of Hawaii were played. How did anyone think $19 and $29 tickets would turn out? Just be thankful Mesa’s shame in Hawaii is unforgettable to this day. Hawaiian would eventually chose to use Empire instead of Mesa for their Ohana operation and Mesa would ultimately depart Hawaii for good. Empire is the same certificate holder that operated Mahalo for Robert Iwamoto back in the 1990s. Small world isn’t it?
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