Think About It: Air Traffic - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 21, 2012

Think About It: Air Traffic

Good news for local consumers as more and more airlines promote new flights to and from these islands. With recent announcements about more flights to the mainland and abroad by Hawaiian Airlines, Allegiant Air and Alaska Air, the local consumer will soon have (quite possibly) more choices than ever before, including the ability to fly into some smaller markets like Stockton, Fresno, and Bellingham.

But with the new offerings comes the ever-present warning to enjoy the ride, now. Because we have all seen what happens when airlines get stretched, load factors drop, and price wars begin. The consumer wins for a while, as long as fuel prices don't spike, and then slowly but surely some distant markets get cut off due to lack of sustainability. We all saw what happened years ago with our inter-island airfare wars. And going back even further, many of us remember the good old days Mahalo Air, Discovery Air, Mid Pacific Air, and, of course, Aloha Airlines. Consumer here and on the mainland were hurt by the sudden dissolution of ATA Airlines a few years back.

To say the airline business is a volatile one would be an understatement. Turbulent skies are the reality for anyone planning a ride in this tough industry. Sometimes we win as consumers with price wars and great flexibility in flight schedule and destinations. And other times our world gets compacted and more expensive as the business simply doesn't pan out the way companies envision it. So enjoy the semi-friendly skies and the new planes bound for our islands, because you just never know how long this flight will last. Think about it…

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