Sbarro files for bankruptcy
MELVILLE, N.Y. >> Pizza and pasta chain Sbarro Inc., which has outlets at Pearlridge Center, Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center, said yesterday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it works to restructure. The restaurant chain has suffered, like many restaurants, since consumers clamped down on spending in the recession. Rising food costs, particularly for cheese and flour, have added to its woes of late.
AirTran tops Hawaiian for quality
Low-cost carrier AirTran had the best overall performance of the 16 largest U.S. carriers last year in an annual study of airline quality released yesterday, knocking the previous leader — Hawaiian Airlines — into second place.
A new leader
AirTran surpassed previous leader Hawaiian Airlines last year in an annual study of airline quality. Here are the top five.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
American Eagle ranked last in the study, which is based on U.S. Department of Transportation data.
Overall, airlines improved their performance last year. They lost fewer bags, bumpings due to overbooking were down and on-time arrivals were up. But travelers were still dissatisfied, with complaints up 28 percent.
Hawaiian, which ranked first overall in 2008 and 2009, still led the way for on-time performance at 92.5 percent, beating its 2009 mark of 92.1 percent. Hawaiian’s denied-boarding performance (0.04 per 10,000 passengers in 2010) was again the second best of the airlines rated. Its customer complaint rate of 1.16 complaints per 100,000 passengers was well above last year’s rate of 0.74 and ranked Hawaiian eighth. The airline’s mishandled-baggage rate of 2.23 per 1,000 passengers (second best of all rated) is worse than its 2009 rate of 1.90.
Horizon, Pasha raise fuel surcharges
Horizon Lines Inc. and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines said yesterday they are boosting their mainland-Hawaii fuel surcharge 8.5 percentage points to 43.50, their highest level ever. The new fees, effective May 1, match a similar increase announced last week by larger rival Matson Navigation Co. that goes into effect the same day.
Horizon also raised its fuel surcharge 8.5 percentage points to 45 percent for its service between the mainland and Guam/Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The higher fee also matches Matson’s increase.
Oceanic upgrades its digital guide
Subscribers of Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s digital service will notice a new on-screen navigational guide beginning today when the first wave of customers will receive the upgrade. The process will take several months to complete, and customers will receive information in the mail in advance.
The Navigator system is designed to provide the program guide, settings and program searches as well as upgraded parental controls and digital video recorder capability, as well as direct access to Caller ID on TV for Oceanic digital phone customers.
The Navigator is part of a system upgrade that will include more high-definition channels, expanded "Start-Over" capability and new functions including "Look Back" and whole-house DVR that Oceanic will introduce in the coming weeks.
Email breach to affect millions
NEW YORK >> With the possible theft of millions of email addresses from an advertising company, several large companies have started warning customers to expect fraudulent emails that try to coax account log-in information from them.
Companies behind such brands as Chase, Citi and Best Buy said over the weekend that hackers might have learned their email addresses because of a security breach at a Dallas-based company called Epsilon that manages email communications. Marriott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide were among those companies affected.
The email addresses could be used to target spam. It’s also a standard tactic among online fraudsters to send emails to random people, purporting to be from a large bank and asking them to log in at a site that looks like the bank’s site. Instead, the fraudulent site captures their login information and uses it to access the real account.
On the Move
Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii has hired Dana Akasaki as its chief corporate marketing director. She will be responsible for overseeing the development and planning of the company’s initiatives, corporate imaging, marketing research, advertising activities and materials. Akasaki was previously working for a national fitness equipment manufacturer.
The Queen’s Medical Center is accepting applications for its 2011 Summer Volunteer Program, which has been an integral part of the medical center for more than 150 years. The summer program is for high school and college students age 15 years and older. Volunteers can choose to participate in one or two sessions to be held June 1 through July 19 or June 13 through July 29. For more information, call 547-4397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bank of Hawaii has awarded a check for more than $95,000 to the Hawaii Meth Project. The funds will allow the organization to sustain methamphetamine prevention outreach and education.
Texas Instrument buys National Semi
SAN FRANCISCO >> Texas Instruments says it is buying fellow chip-maker National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in cash in a move to expand its share of the market for analog chips.
Texas Instruments Inc., based in Dallas, has agreed to pay $25 per share for Santa Clara, Calif.-based National Semiconductor Corp. That marks a 78 percent premium to that stock’s closing stock price yesterday before the deal was announced.