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Bankrupt Aloha Airlines halting passenger service

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Associated Press / March 31, 2008

HONOLULU - Aloha Airlines said yesterday it will halt all passenger service after today, signaling the end of an airline that has served Hawaii for more than 60 years.

Aloha, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 20, was a casualty of fierce competition and rising fuel prices. The airline said it will stop taking reservations for flights after today.

Aloha has suffered since Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc. launched a new interisland carrier called go! airlines in 2006, triggering a local airfare war.

Aloha, the second-largest Hawaii carrier, has operated a fleet of 26 Boeing 737s to serve five airports statewide and six mainland US destinations.

Aloha Airgroup Inc. was forced to file for Chapter 11 protection just over two years after it emerged from a previous trip through bankruptcy court.

Aloha said tickets for flights after today will not be honored. It said it is working to have UAL Inc.'s United Airlines accommodate passengers with tickets for Aloha's mainland to Hawaii flights. It is trying to seat those with interisland tickets on Hawaiian Airlines Inc.

Aloha has canceled today's flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and between several cities in California and Nevada. It's last day for interisland travel will be today.

Aloha advised passengers who don't want to fly another airline and who want a refund to contact their travel agents or credit card companies. Those who paid by cash or check may file a claim in bankruptcy court.

The shutdown will affect about 1,900 employees. The company said air cargo services are to continue. Aloha Airlines was founded in 1946.

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