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aloha73g
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How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:28 pm

Recently I have met a few of the top people at Aloha who asked me, as an 'outisider/frequent flyer' to come up with some ideas that could help Aloha attract more interisland customers and improve revenue.
Any and all ideas are welcome...but don't just say, "Replace the 732s with E190s."


I have a pretty big list already, but I'm curious to hear what you guys think before I post some of my ideas....
More legroom?
First Class?
Improved Beverage Service?
Ontime arrivals/improved baggage delivery?
Better website?

Make comments, all good ideas will make it to Aloha's executives.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:03 pm

I find AQ (and HA) to be about the same inter-island. I don't know what else they could do to improve a short hop from HNL - ITO or OGG, etc. So with that some questions on your list. Bear in mind Aloha73G, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but rather seriously curious . . .

Quoting Aloha73G (Thread starter):
First Class?

I have flown on AQ inter-island in first, albeit several years ago - did they do way with that?

Quoting Aloha73G (Thread starter):
Improved Beverage Service?

How improved could it get on a 20 minute jaunt from HNL to OGG? The little prepacked juices in Y (and in F a drink or three).

Quoting Aloha73G (Thread starter):
Ontime arrivals/improved baggage delivery?

Baggage I agree . . .

How 'bad' is on-time performance. It is, afterall, 'the islands' and things do tend to move on Hawaiiain time. I've never been more than afew minutes late with either AQ or HA. (And never late with HA from the Mainland).
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777fan
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:12 pm

Quoting Aloha73G (Thread starter):
Any and all ideas are welcome...but don't just say, "Replace the 732s with E190s."

You knew I was going to say that, didn't you! At any rate, I think that if that change is made, it'll work wonders for AQ. The interiors of the 732s are somewhat tired and drab, particularly when you compare them to HA's 717s.

Other than that, I would definitely improve the baggage service. Baggage handling was one of the reasons Mrs. 777fan and I moved over to HA. Misplacing a bag on an interisland flight is all but unacceptable. Misplacing it and then asking the pax to return to the airport to pick it up is inexcusable.


777fan
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:43 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
afterall, 'the islands' and things do tend to move on Hawaiiain time.

Like what the Polynesian Adventure Tours bus Driver said, Hawaiians always running 10 minutes late

Some new aircraft always does do wonders thou
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lorm
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:59 pm

I haven't flown AQ in years ever since my father retired from UA. Going inter island it was always on AQ minus a few HA bookings long ago. I still have vivid memories tail boarding a HA DC-9s long ago with the APU screaming overhead. When my father was employed with UA we were able to non-rev on AQ and it was worth the small wait to board back then even with the un-assigned seating. Ever since his retirement I've satisfyingly flown HA ever since for inter island flights.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
You knew I was going to say that, didn't you! At any rate, I think that if that change is made, it'll work wonders for AQ. The interiors of the 732s are somewhat tired and drab, particularly when you compare them to HA's 717s.

I'm kind of reluctant to say I agree totally with 777fan. A passenger aircraft fleet change to the E190 I think as well will do wonders with the public's perception of AQ. I'm NOT reluctant to say I agree with 777fan himself, but I'm sadly going to agree that the good ol classic 732 should be brought out of AQs scheduled passenger service.

To me, I primarily think that AQs non stage 3 noise compliant 732 usage seems to impact HNL and AQ as a whole. You would definitely not classify me as a NIMBY type and to me anyone who knowingly moves into a residence that was built after the nearby airport has no right to complain about airport related noise.

Hawaii and Alaska are the only 2 states in the US in certain conditions are exempt from stage 3 aircraft noise requirements. (Search the Tech Ops info on the subject or Google it up) Currently AQ has a fleet of stage 2 engined 732 aircraft. As I type ,the roar of another AQ 732 taking-off echoes in the distance taking from HNL.

The noise not a big deal to me personally at all, but the fact that I can hear ever takeoff, with no line-of-sight of HNL and my distance being in Makakilo I can imagine just what the people closer and under the approach path to 8L endure every night from the loaded AQ 732QCs that do late night cargo runs. In fact the 732 take off noise can be heard on the other side of the Waianae mountains, as far as Makaha!

Current HNL operations close runway 8L to non-channel approach arrivals to aircraft larger than a 732s and 717s after 7pm. However HNL approach controllers will grant "operational necessity only" clearances to large aircraft on 8L. There are many houses (and many new developments in Ewa Beach going up) under the 8L approach zone and it is due noise abatement rules that the 8L approach use is restricted. Depending on your luck of the draw which controller happens to be working that night their reluctance to grant this clearance can change. Anyone who frequently HNL ATC listener can tell which controllers that give the most leeway  .

IMO if AQ eventually switched to stage 3 compliant aircraft such as an E190 these 7PM 8L restrictions can be relaxed to allow HA 717s and future AQ stage 3 aircraft, to to commence beyond the 8L outer marker. As it is now beyond 7PM, all turbojet aircraft are restricted to 8L Pearl Harbor channel approaches with the primary arrival runway being 4R. The perhaps only few minutes saved by freeing up 8L past 7PM would avert and possibly reduce all potential delays in the future. This would especially be useful to all aircraft inbound to HNL that arrive from the west. The public would surely loosen its resistance to opening up 8L with much quieter aircraft plying the Hawaiian Islands. The restrictions currently won't even allow a extremely quiet 717 and DH8s to approach 8L from outside the Pearl Harbor channel!

I don't propose AQ completely take the 732 out of it's fleet as there seems to be nothing that currently can replace it's cargo 732QCs. But for daylight passenger service the E190 surely would increase the public awareness that quieter jet aircraft exist and HNL noise regulations may be lightened.

Even though I miss the roar of a HA DC9, when HA began to operate much quieter 717s you can't help but wonder if the general flying public would stop and notice that now AQ has a nice brand new, quieter fleet to match up with HA's and now Go's fleet of aircraft. You KNOW when an AQ 732 aircraft takes to the sky in Honolulu, those JT8Ds engines are unmistakable.
LorM

[Edited 2006-08-24 14:13:28]
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LReigle
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:41 am

Aloha customer service is excellent. The 500 pound gorilla no body wants to talk about is the 737-200 inter-island fleet. How do you compete when even the novice flyer (and, thus, the most nervous one) knows Aloha flys the oldest aircraft in the market?

Aloha is caught between a rock and a hard place, ie. severely short on working capital and the need to replace their interisland fleet with the high start up costs that entails, while facing a price war started by Go!

My heart goes out to the wonderful employees of Aloha.
 
socal
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:51 am

Open seating like Southwest on Inter-Island would be good.
I Love HNL.............
 
lahaina
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:46 pm

I have flown AQ recently. My suggestions are:

1. Better on time performance. How can you be late with the first departure
of the day?
2. Be upfront with customers regarding delays, i.e. reason for the delay, the
reason for the delay, anticipated time of delay, back up plan.
3. Have ground crews that are more professional and courteous. AQ has too
too much of a "mom-and-pop family" operation mentality. I also had
recently encountered the rudest gate agents in OGG. You need to greet
the customers with "Good morning", "Good afternoon", and "Have a
pleasant trip". The ground crew in Hawaii need to learn from the agents
in San Diego with regards on how to treat the customers.
4. Forget the beverage service for a 20-minute flight--I could do without and
will save you more money on the long run.
5. Keep the planes clean. AQ has some of the dirtiest cabins--ie finger prints
all over the overhead bins, windows, trash on floor.
6. Newer planes--newer 737-200s or brand new planes.
7. In the era of competition from Go, AQ is the weakest of the 3 major inter-
island carriers. With an overall 50% interisland passenger load, they need
to ask themselves why they are losing loyal customers to other carriers.
I for one can tell you it has to do more with just price. It has to do with
being always late and having to deal with rude ground crew. I am
Ali'i Diamond, and I am starting to go with HA simply because I am tired of
flying with someone who is always late.

Just my two cents.

Aloha
 
Carfield
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:49 pm

I believe AQ is open seating right now on inter-Island flight, but some kinds of group system like WN sounds good. Not everyone just lines up!

For the service, AQ can't do much... I believe AQ offers a bit more choices these days as of this point. Maybe a local bakery product just to promote Hawaii (and to find a company to sponsor some nice snacks... so people can munch on it on board or bring it home...)...

I think Aloha can make its Hawaiian brand stronger, in which go does not have right now... Add a new slogan...

First Class -- I am not sure if F class makes much sense on these short flights, but it is a good way to please FF flyers and to make them feel really special. HA has F, and AQ may introduce back F, just to make it a less LCC airline like go and to give its elite flyers some incentives to fly AQ. But that is not a big problem... maybe a few rows of Y+ type for elites are good enough. With the EMB-195, you can just configure the first five rows with slightly more legroom...

Carfield
 
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:42 pm

One thing that AQ, HA, and WP have over any other airline is the Aloha Spirit when it comes to customer service. Of all the times I've been on AQ (last in 04), I have not been disappointed. In fact, there have been times when our bags were put on the preceding flight, and were waiting for us @ our destination. I can't recall ever experiencing any negative from the counter or gate staff. Last time I flew a legacy carrier, all I got is "where's your seat assignment?" Not even a "welcome aboard". I had to initiate the "hi". The FA looked at me like, hurry up & sit down! Won't be flying that airline anytime soon.

While AQ keeps pressing on with their 732s, I do agree that the interiors could use some refurbishment. And yes, they are loud. Love to hear the night cargo runs roar out of Rwy8L in the early morning hours. However, it's cool to watch the clamshell thrust reversers open & shut when landing.

N835AL is has a hushkit installed. I saw it during the ERJ-190 preview, and should have snapped a shot it (oh well).

They would have to keep a few QCs and Cs around for their cargo ops, since they are flying cargo runs during the day.

My last flight on HA from OGG to HNL had assigned seats ... maybe they could try WN's zone boarding, as one earlier suggested.

AQ should bring back the Ali‘i Class seats, even if it's 3 rows. After all, those people paid for that membership. For a short hop ... the beverage service is fine. Ever seen the FAs scurry when it's a full flight? I've seen some in the aisle right before the 732 makes it turn over Ewa Beach, talk about last minute. I just like the fact that I get a warm "Aloha" and smile, as I board and deplane.
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socal
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:48 am

Not to change the subject, but did Aloha start new Inter-Island service....?
I Love HNL.............
 
ikramerica
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:54 am

People don't know a plane is old if it feels new.

So, replace seat covers and repaint the jets into "island theme" jets. Maybe a different color for each one (a la Braniff) with new interior colors that go with the exterior.

Give the tails something interesting, again maybe like F9 in something unique for each tail but also very hawaiian. Give the jets names, too.

It will create excitement again about the airline.

Combine that with improved on time performance, and I think that will be fine.

I mean, for a 45 minute flight, you don't need much, even legroom...
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aloha73g
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:47 am

Quoting Socal (Reply 10):
Not to change the subject, but did Aloha start new Inter-Island service....?

On September 1 they are restarting OGG-LIH and OGG-KOA nonstops (2x daily R/T on each).

They previously flew the routes, but they were dropped post 9/11. They also used to serve OGG-ITO and ITO-KOA but those routes are not being restarted at this time.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
HnlBoi
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:55 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):

Couldnt have put it any better!
 
777fan
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:59 am

Quoting LorM (Reply 4):
I'm kind of reluctant to say I agree totally with 777fan. A passenger aircraft fleet change to the E190 I think as well will do wonders with the public's perception of AQ. I'm NOT reluctant to say I agree with 777fan himself, but I'm sadly going to agree that the good ol classic 732 should be brought out of AQs scheduled passenger service.

It's perfectly acceptable to agree with me once in a while!

Quoting LorM (Reply 4):
You KNOW when an AQ 732 aircraft takes to the sky in Honolulu, those JT8Ds engines are unmistakable.

No kidding. The noise is umistakeable as are the dark contrails that are rivaled only by the ancient KC-135s out of Hickam.

Quoting Socal (Reply 6):
Open seating like Southwest on Inter-Island would be good.

Open seating bites. The assigned seating offered on HA works well and doesn't take any longer to board. I flew a HNL-OGG r/t yesterday and saw both aircraft turn over in no more than 30 min. The OGG-HNL flight board "late" (8:50 versus 8:45) and was able to close the door and pushback 8 minutes early with a 80% (estimate) load.

Quoting LAHAINA (Reply 7):
With an overall 50% interisland passenger load

Where are you able to get AQ load factors? They've been really discrete about publishing them in light of go!'s entry into the market. I've wondered how AQ has fared since they showed up but can't find the numbers.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 8):
Maybe a local bakery product just to promote Hawaii

The bev service is a nice touch on interisland flights. Snacks aren't really required as the flights are so short that it would only give the FAs something else to tend to which might not always be possible on such short segments. If it were offered, I would think that a packet of mac nuts would appeal to tourists while nori rice crackers might be more popular with locals and/or island hopping Japanese visitors. Both would cost about the same per unit as a baked good but would have an infinitely longer shelf life.

777fan
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Motorhussy
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:13 am

- Become a regional for one of the big alliances - Star, SkyTeam or oneWorld.

- Schedule to support and benefit from alliance partners' flights.

- Bring back an updated version of the 70's colour scheme - interior and exterior.

- Retire the 737-200's.

- Introduce a secondary aircraft to support the 737-700's - preferably Emb 190's.

- Work with a similar airline that's looking at the purchase of a regional jet so as to leverage a better deal with their combined purchase power.

- Introduce a business class service on the aircraft flying to/from the mainland USA.

- Reward regular fliers (qualifying flyers) with complimentary business class lounges and preferential seating with more legroom at the front of the cabin.

- Make the whole experience, on air and land, feel very Aloha! ie very welcoming and uniquely Hawai'ian.

- Work on the customer expectation that things at Aloha arrive and leave on time - this can only be done by delivery.

- Work on getting their costs down in areas where they have that control.

Regards
MH

[Edited 2006-08-28 00:27:16]

[Edited 2006-08-28 00:29:31]
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777fan
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
People don't know a plane is old if it feels new.

So, replace seat covers and repaint the jets into "island theme" jets. Maybe a different color for each one (a la Braniff) with new interior colors that go with the exterior.

Give the tails something interesting, again maybe like F9 in something unique for each tail but also very hawaiian. Give the jets names, too.

It will create excitement again about the airline.

Believe me, even an infrequent flyer can tell the difference especially when you see AQ and HA aircraft next to one another. AQ's livery is attractive but many of the tail schemes are somewhat faded. A decent number of AQ aircraft have exhaust/smoke discoloration toward the rear of the fuselage (not uncommon) but again noticeable, as is the noise and exhaust on takeoff. AQ touts the return of the Funbird paint scheme which is great until you see the old pics of the same 732s in the Funbird livery (circa 1970s) in the interisland terminal and realize that the plane you're about to board is "vintage"!
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vfw614
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:06 am

Clean your cabin.





..
 
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aloha73g
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:30 pm

Thanks for all of the comments & suggestions. They go in line with the ideas i had:

1. Focus on ontime. They have been since last year and have made hug improvements, now just a few percentage points behind Hawaiian.

2. I also agree that the interiors and exteriors need to be maintained to a higher standard...look what NW has done with their DC-9s. It makes a big difference to the traveling public. Perception is reality!

3. I feel that speedy and efficient baggage delivery should be a focus. I know they have had trouble finding rampers due to the tight labor market in Hawai'i, but they have made a marked improvement year over year, and hopefully it will continue.

4. I think first class or economy plus should be added for Ali'i Club members and passenger connecting from First Class on Mainland flights.

5. As far as Open Seating goes, I prefer it and don't see the need for assigned seats on short flights. I know many business flyers (also Ali'i Members) in Hawai'i who like Aloha's open seating because they don't have to worry about getting a good assignment before the flight.

As far as the 732s go, they are perfectly safe, reliable and efficient, FOR NOW. Aloha's management knows better than anyone that they won't last forever, but they have a few more years before they will need to make a change. They are investigating various options now, but there doesn't seem to be any aircraft available that will be as perfect for interisland as the DC9s and 732s were/are. The EMB-190 may be that aircraft, but it hasn't proven its reliability in a market as unique as interisland....YET.

Aloha is not sitting around idly and is going to make some substantial changes over the next year. Along with Hawaiian's amazing performance over the past 5 years, together they will prove that Hawai'i's hometown airlines are some of the best around!!

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
ikramerica
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:39 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 16):
Believe me, even an infrequent flyer can tell the difference especially when you see AQ and HA aircraft next to one another.

Not if the plane is painted and maintained well. The noise is another issue, however.

Quoting Aloha73G (Reply 18):
As far as the 732s go, they are perfectly safe, reliable and efficient, FOR NOW. Aloha's management knows better than anyone that they won't last forever, but they have a few more years before they will need to make a change.

Maybe they can make a deal with another carrier that has a fleet of newer 733s and 735s to take them as they are replaced in their fleets. The 735 is an ideal interisland aircraft.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
str8fromthe808
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:12 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
Maybe they can make a deal with another carrier that has a fleet of newer 733s and 735s to take them as they are replaced in their fleets. The 735 is an ideal interisland aircraft.

no Aloha already tried to make a go with 733s and 734s many years ago, those CFM56 engines can't handle the short stage lengths and turnaround times like the JT8Ds...
it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness...chinese proverb
 
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aloha73g
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:17 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
Not if the plane is painted and maintained well. The noise is another issue, however.

This is the key I think. I know a few people from Hawai'i who have flown on NW's DC9s and thought they were on 717s just because of the interiors and new paint. They were quite surprised when I told them they were in fact older than Aloha's 732s.

As I said before, for the general traveling public "Perception is Reality" and a plane that is dirty or seems to be in disrepair on the inside or out is thought to be old and/or unsafe.

As for the 735s, or any 737 besides the 732s, they are NOT by any means suitable for interisland operations in any way other than their size.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
ikramerica
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:24 pm

What about 318s? They have more engine options. Are any of those engines suitable for the island environment?

As for maintaining the planes, the dirty 732 engines will put out more "soot" on the nice paint scheme, but all it would take to mitigate that is hiring one guy with a broom and a bucket of cleanser to clean off the jets each night in the area where that soot collects.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
HnlBoi
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:22 pm

Is it just me, but it seems like out of all these postst everyone is mentioning On time performance. Does AQ have a bad ontime performancE?
 
777fan
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:05 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
Not if the plane is painted and maintained well.



Please reread my comment. AQ's aircraft are painted but subject to excess "soot" coutesy of their JT8Ds.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 16):
AQ's livery is attractive but many of the tail schemes are somewhat faded. A decent number of AQ aircraft have exhaust/smoke discoloration toward the rear of the fuselage (not uncommon) but again noticeable



Quoting HnlBoi (Reply 23):
Is it just me, but it seems like out of all these postst everyone is mentioning On time performance. Does AQ have a bad ontime performancE?

I haven't really seen too many complaints about their ontime performance. I've had issues with them in the past but recall seeing something about them rating #2 in the nation (ironically next to HA) in ontime performance.


777fan
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aloha73g
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:01 pm

Quoting HnlBoi (Reply 23):
Is it just me, but it seems like out of all these postst everyone is mentioning On time performance. Does AQ have a bad ontime performancE?

For most of the 1980s and 1990s Aloha was known as the ontime airline in Hawai'i while Hawaiian Air Lines (HAL) stood for Hawaiian Always Late. They were #1 in the country for a few years prior to their expansion to the mainland, at which time they lost focus on their interisland operation and on-time performance suffered due to 'growing pains.' At the same time Hawaiian focussed on improving their ontime performance and they succeeded in an amazing way.

Over the last two years Aloha has made alot of changes and refocussed on on-time peformance. They have been filing their numbers with the DOT since April and have ranked #2 behind Hawaiian for the last few months posting number in the high 80s. Their goal, obviously, is to be the airline that breaks Hawaiian's 30+ month streak of being #1.

Aloha and Hawaiian both performing at their best hasn't really happened before and with the entry of Mesa this is the perfect time to do it!! In the past, one usually floundered somewhat while the other flew high, then they switched places for one reason or another.

As far as Aloha's livery, I am a HUGE fan of it. I don't think it seems dated at all, and it is almost 15 years old. I just wish they did try to clean the soot marks and repainted more frequently because the hot Hawaiian sun does fade them a bit. BUT I do think the interiors should be cleaned and refreshed before the exteriors because the interiors are more important to the passengers overall experience.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
ha763
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RE: How To Impove Aloha's Interisland Service

Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:41 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 22):
What about 318s? They have more engine options. Are any of those engines suitable for the island environment?

The PW6000 may be better for the ultra-short, high frequency routes, but the A318 is still too much aircraft and too heavy when compared to the 732, 717, E190/195 for interisland use. The best available new-build aircraft that meets AQ's need for pax and cargo capacity is the E-190/195.

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