Hawaii Superferry Now Super Cool?

Remember last year when the Hawaii Superferry first set sail and caused so many complaints and confrontations between residents of Oahu, Kauai and Maui? Well now it seems that slowly those days are being forgotten and now the Superferry is becoming used more and more, at least by those going between Oahu and Maui, to travel interisland.

Maybe it’s the sudden shutdown of Aloha Airlines or perhaps the continued increase in Hawaiian Airlines fares that is causing the new interest in the once shunned Hawaii Superferry. Since Aloha Airlines is gone because of what many believe is GO! Airlines fault, local residents that continue to fly have remained clear of GO! and moved on to using Hawaiian Airlines. I believe that even though times are tough and fuel prices have increased, Hawaiian Airlines continues to creep those airfare prices up knowing that people who would much rather fly, will in fact pay the price to Hawaiian Airlines instead of being considered a somewhat traitor by taking the cheaper fare and flying GO!

The change in attitude was evident this past holiday weekend which showed just how much the Hawaii Superferry ridership numbers have increased going from the previous average of about 100 to almost 400 people per trip which is close to half the max capacity of 866 people allowed. They have even increased the trips from one to two a day on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between Oahu and Maui.

Shake ups in the local airline industry, increasing prices in airline tickets and maybe even a new CEO have turned the Hawaii Superferry into a new useful option for interisland travel. So what do you think? Hawaii Superferry now super cool…or still not?

Hawaii Superferry: http://www.hawaiisuperferry.com

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6 Responses to “ Hawaii Superferry Now Super Cool? ”

  1. Living on the mainland, I’ve watched the ups and downs of the Superferry from afar. I’ve been amazed at what a hot topic it has become. I’ve tried not to form an opinion either way.

    This post is an interesting observation. Sounds like the whole dynamic of interisland travel is changing pretty rapidly.

    Sheilas last blog post..Hawaii Vacation Coupons and Discounts

  2. Wednesday, May 28, 2008
    HI Superferry: ‘Record Loads’

    HSF numbers released for May 23-26 were:
    5500 people and 1500 vehicles transported and
    HSF’s est. for the month of May:
    21000 people and 5800 vehicles

    First, that means nearly a quarter of all of their traffic for May happened during the 4 days of the Memorial Day weekend.

    Second, there were 14 one-way trips over that weekend, so they averaged:
    393 people per one-way trip and
    107 vehicles per one-way which is
    Still not break-even.

    Third, they will have had 88 one-way trips for the month of May, so they would average:
    239 people per one-way trip and
    66 vehicles per one-way which is
    NOT Enough on average to cover just their fuel costs for the month of May. Furthermore, those trip averages for the Month of May are actually lower than the trip averages they were having in the latter part of April.

    Aloha, Brad

  3. Ah, but the trip averages are much higher than they were in December and January, at least according to Brad’s passenger counts I’ve seen posted here and there on the web.

    Cool or not, I don’t know. But the Superferry provides an important alternative means of interisland transportation, as was well illustrated when Aloha Cargo briefly shutdown.

    Go! Airlines parent Mesa is literally teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. If they go under it will be a one airline market. Hawaiian will then be able to raise their fare’s drastically if there’s no competition.

    Davids last blog post..Hawaii Superferry – A Reality Check

  4. @MauiBrad: It’s still gonna take awhile for things to get to where they need to be, but normally a new venture is in the red for a least the first two years of operation after that will determine their sustainability in the islands and I am just hoping they stay so that Hawaii Airlines doesn’t become the sole provider of interisland travel. If that becomes a reality then we the residents are at their mercy.

    @David: I’m with you on having the Superferry as another alternative. As I mentioned above it will be a sad day when Hawaii Airlines is the sole provider of interisland travel and can then have us in the palm of their hands as far as prices go. As for GO! Airlines, I read that their plan after filing bankruptcy does not have them leaving the islands, which is good news for interisland competition.

  5. @V.Brown: I’d also read that about Mesa’s bankruptcy plan and hope that Go! stays around. I think it’s far from certain that they will be able to though. The little reading I’ve done on Mesa doesn’t paint a very good picture of them.

    They’re losing federal Essential Air Service contracts all over the country. (Believe it or not Island Air just took one away from them in Nebraska) Delta Airlines is trying to terminate their codeshare agreement with Mesa because of poor service. Mesa has said the loss of this contract will send them into bankruptcy. They also just settled a lawsuit with Hawaiian Airlines for $52.5 million. And don’t forget, Aloha Airlines still has a lawsuit pending against them for predatory pricing.

    As my mother used to say, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I think the more competition there is the better.

    Davids last blog post..Haleakala Bike Tour Recommendations

  6. Larry Geller has a good post regarding taking rental cars on HSF at http://disappearednews.com/2008/05/hidden-dangers-in-taking-rental-cars-on.html

    Be sure to read down to the bottom where he mentions the drop-off charge and concession fee.

    Andy Parx did an awesome comment to Larry’s above post:

    “The SF isn’t transporting these rental cars for free. No one has pointed out how you’d have to be an imbecile – or so rich you don’t care – to pay the fare for the ferry to transport your rental car when you can return one as you get on and pick up another as you get off…If the rental companies were doing anything – other than allowing it – they would let you keep the same contract and return and pick up cars on either end…” posted by Andy Parx

    Aloha, Brad

    Mauibrads last blog post..Rental Car Questions

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