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Aloha Airlines and Aloha Airgroup file suit against Mesa Air Group.


Aloha Airlines Inc and Aloha Airgroup Inc filed a lawsuit on 13 October in state Circuit Court, claiming that Mesa Air Group Inc received confidential information as a potential investor in Aloha and used this improperly to enter Hawaii's inter-island market with intent to drive Aloha out of business.

Aloha has also alleged that Mesa used Aloha's proprietary information to unethically compete in the Hawaii market by offering air fares that failed to cover Mesa's costs, and that Mesa's CEO Jonathan Ornstein has said that Mesa's Go! carrier can "fly empty" for five years with the profits from Mesa's mainland operations.

According to Aloha this indicates that Mesa is not covering its costs and is offering unrealistic fares with the intention of driving out competition from the Hawaii market.

The filing reportedly notes that, according to other legal documents, Mesa's chief financial officer George Murnane III sent an e-mail message stating that Mesa's entry would make "no sense" if Aloha remained in the inter-island market.

Aloha said that it is seeking damages and injunctive relief to stop Mesa from competing unfairly, and threatening the jobs of 3,500 Aloha Airlines employees in Hawaii.

According to the lawsuit Mesa signed two confidentiality agreements in 2005 and January 2006, stating that the company would only use the confidential information for the purpose of pursuing an investment and that, if there was no investment, Mesa would promptly destroy Aloha's confidential information, including financial records, business plans, internal forecasts, customer lists and other highly sensitive data regarding projections for the inter-island market.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Oct 16, 2006
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