Aloha Air halting passenger service after 62 years

Forman, the aviation industry historian, said Aloha did not fail because it was unable to compete in a fair fight. It lost because government regulators "allowed predatory fares to go on for more than a year and a half."

Scott Hamilton, a Washington state-based aviation industry consultant added: "I always said it was a war of attrition and the winner is the one with the most cash and Aloha had the least cash."

Longtime Aloha employees said they were saddened by today's news.

Kawika Lum, an Aloha flight attendant for the past six years, said many of his co-workers spent much of yesterday on the phone consoling each other. He added that several dozen off-duty workers went to the airline's facilities at Honolulu International Airport to help passengers and fellow workers.

"It's difficult to know that this is all going to go away," Lum said.

Added Randy Kauhane, assistant general chairman of Aloha's 1,500-worker Machinists Union:

"Obviously, when you go through this process, there's always hope. You always feel that some miracle will come about and everything will be OK. But the reality is 'Oh God! What's going to happen?' "

The Honolulu Advertiser is owned by Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY.

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