Hawaii Hamstrings Remains Of Aloha Airlines

What do TWA and Aloha Airlines have in common? While both companies no longer provide transportation, their name can still be seen on aircraft today.

TWA was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. It had a long, storied tradition in aviation worldwide from the 1930s to the turn of the century. American rolled out its Heritage Plane paint job a few years ago and kept the TWA logo and color scheme on some aircraft. We just saw a TWA-branded plane as we landed in Los Angeles recently and did a double-take ourselves.

You can still see Aloha Airlines on planes today for a different reason.

Hawaii’s beloved Aloha Airlines, which began in 1946 and ended in 2008, continues to have its name return to the news. It’s been fifteen years since Aloha entered bankruptcy and suspended all flights in March 2008.

When Aloha stopped passenger flights, the company and creditors auctioned the perpetually profitable cargo operation. A series of disagreements ensued between lenders and the bidders, and the bankruptcy was converted from reorganization to liquidation. Ultimately, Seattle’s’ Saltchuk Resources, aided by US Senator Daniel Inouye, purchased the cargo division for just over $10M.

If Saltchuk isn’t familiar to you, it also owns the Hawaii interisland ocean transport monopoly, Young Brothers, among its other Hawaii ventures.

Now, fast-forward 15 years; Aloha Air Cargo wants the US DOT to remove limitations on the number of planes it can fly interisland. That comes as the Postal Service has asked the carrier to provide additional lift for mail to Maui and the Big Island.

US DOT mandated Aloha Air Cargo to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Saltchuk with no more than five aircraft. The company operates a series of Boeing 737 freighters and flies as Northern Air Cargo on flights between Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Aloha Air Cargo said, “The passage of nearly fifteen years and solid operational and commercial track record have rendered moot the need for this condition.”

That could mean more planes branded Aloha in the future. It’s a reminder of one of Hawaii’s most beloved carriers.


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