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Business Briefs

For Saturday, July 2, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:35 p.m. HST, Aug 05, 2011


Airlines expect to fly more to isles

The number of airline seats to Hawaii is expected to rise 1.1 percent in the third quarter from the year-earlier period on the strength of added capacity from the U.S. West, Japan, Canada, Oceania and South Korea, according to data released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Capacity from the U.S. West, Hawaii's core market, is expected to grow 1.4 percent this quarter, while the U.S. East, which has fewer flights, is projected to decline 24.3 percent.

Air seats from Japan are expected to increase 1.6 percent in the quarter with the addition of more than 74,000 seats from Tokyo-Haneda and a 5.3 percent increase in seats from Osaka. Hawaiian Airlines will begin service to Osaka on July 12.

Canada seats are expected to rise 52.3 percent; Oceania, 25.4 percent; and South Korea, 73.3 percent.

Hawaiian's cost for planes is $230M

Hawaiian Airlines is spending $230 million to buy the 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft that it now leases for interisland flights, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The airline declined to disclose the price Thursday when it announced it was buying the aircraft that it previously leased long term from Boeing Capital Corp. Hawaiian is refinancing the planes with loans totaling about $193 million at a fixed rate of 8 percent a year for eight years.

Hawaiian also entered into a loan agreement with Wells Fargo to lease three additional Boeing 717-200s over an eight-year period.

The airline plans to take delivery of the three additional aircraft in September, October and November, with additional service to begin in October.

S&P ups Hawaii airport bond rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its long-term rating and underlying rating to A from A- on Hawaii Airport System's revenue bonds. The outlook is stable.

"We raised the rating based on the system's long-standing practice of maintaining a strong liquidity position; greater certainty regarding the scope and size of the capital improvement plan; and management's plan to cease providing rate mitigation to airlines, which we believe improves the system's financial profile," said S&P credit analyst Paul Dyson.

WaMu settles class suit for $208.5M

LOS ANGELES » Washington Mutual Inc. and its fellow defendants have agreed to pay $208.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit stemming from the lender's collapse in 2008, the biggest U.S. bank failure in history.

The defendants and lead plaintiff Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board outlined the terms of the agreement in documents filed with U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday.

The pact calls for Washington Mutual to pay $105 million, for a group of underwriters that includes Goldman, Sachs & Co., to pay $85 million, and for Deloitte & Touche LLP to kick in another $18.5 million. In exchange, the plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss all claims against the lender and its co-defendants.

The settlement must be approved by a bankruptcy court overseeing Washington Mutual's reorganization plan.

ON THE MOVE

» First Hawaiian Bank has announced that Jeff Craddock will serve as a wealth adviser to the wealth management team. He has 18 years of financial planning experience, including working at First Hawaiian Bank for the past six years.

» Hawaiian Airlines has appointed Tom Wessner to vice president of strategic procurement. He has 24 years of procurement experience in the automotive industry, including as director of purchasing for Tesla Motors in California, deputy general manager for the purchasing division at Mazda Motor Corp. in Japan and serving in director positions in procurement, communications and new business development for Ford of Mexico in Mexico City.

» Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has hired the following employees: 

-- Cynthia Emoto as development coordinator. She has more than 20 years of broadcast journalism experience, including as a world news anchor.

-- Maria Elena Brown as education coordinator. She has more than 20 years' experience working with local and mainland organizations and businesses, youth, families, schools and not-for-profits.

-- Harris Bonnell as restoration manager. He was a project engineer in the planning department for Bell Helicopter, a Textron Co., for 29 years.

-- Miwa Hammond as administrative assistant. Her experience includes interpreting, office administration, customer service and housing management.






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