16 Feb 2006

Hawaii Airlines seeks to impede competitor

9:28 am on 16 February 2006

Hawaiian Airlines is seeking a court order to block Mesa Air Group's entry into the island market for two years, alleging that the new airline illegally used confidential business data from Hawaiian's bankruptcy.

In a complaint filed in US Bankruptcy Court, Hawaiian said the information was key in Mesa's decision to begin interisland services in Hawaii in April or May.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction that would prevent Mesa from offering services in the state for at least two years.

In September, Mesa announced plans to offer one-way fares as low as US$43 to compete directly against Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines.

Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein told The Honolulu Advertiser that Hawaiian's suit indicates "how afraid of us they really are."

Hawaiian says Mesa was given access to more than 2,000 pages of detailed information about Hawaiian's business strategy, pricing structure, passenger counts, as well as quarterly projections through the end of 2007.