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Go! airlines to stop Hawaii operations on April 1

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:59 p.m. HST, Mar 17, 2014

Mesa Air Group, Inc. announced on Monday that it will cease its Hawaii operations effective April 1. The company said go! has served its nearly five million passengers with safe, reliable and low fare service since June 2006.

The airline said it wanted to use the go! aircraft on mainland routes and the high cost of fuel had made flying interisland less profitable.

"We are re-deploying the go! aircraft to support our existing mainland operations," said Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein. "An additional factor that we accounted for was the long term increase in the cost of fuel, which has more than doubled since go! began service and has caused sustained profitability to be elusive."

Go! will re-book passengers ticketed through go! for travel scheduled between April 1 and June 30 on Hawaiian Airline's interisland network and will refund tickets for passengers who cannot be accommodated on Hawaiian Airlines or for passengers holding tickets for travel after June 30, the company said.

Customers and travel agents needing additional information may call 1-888-435-9462.

The company said all go! employees will be given an opportunity to continue their employment with Mesa Airlines.

Mesa operates 71 aircraft with approximately 407 daily departures to 85 cities. Mesa operates as US Airways Express and United Express under contractual agreements with US Airways and United Airlines, respectively.

Go! entered the Hawaii market with $39 one-way interisland fares and a special introductory promotion of $19 fares, which it later dropped to as low as $1, before moving back up to $49 as fuel prices soared.

Mesa, a low-cost carrier that at one time dropped one-way interisland fares to a rock-bottom $1, has had a rocky existence.

In April 2008, Mesa paid Hawaiian Airlines $52.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Hawaiian alleging Mesa had misused confidential information obtained during Hawaiian's bankruptcy in 2004 to enter the Hawaii market in 2006.

And in November 2008, Mesa settled a 2007 lawsuit with Yucaipa Cos., Aloha Airlines' former controlling shareholder, in which Aloha accused Mesa of misusing confidential information that Mesa obtained as a potential investor during Aloha's bankruptcy. Aloha also accused Mesa of predatory pricing designed to run Aloha out of business. Mesa paid Yucaipa $2 million and issued Yucaipa 10 percent of Mesa's common stock.

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