3 Apr 2008

US Senate Committe pushes forward biil to provide loan guarantees to local airlines

12:32 pm on 3 April 2008

The Senate Ways and Means Committee pushed forward a bill yesterday to provide loan guarantees to local airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, Go! and Island Air.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports the measure, House Bill 509, was to help the 61 year old Aloha airline out of bankruptcy, but would now be available to the existing air carriers.

Charles Willis, owner of Island Air's parent company, told the Ways and Means committee his company could take advantage of such a loan for between 7 and 10 million US dollars.

Mr Willis says the fare war triggered by Go! has turned into a crisis with the soaring fuel prices.

On Monday, the Senate passed back to the House a bill to exempt local airlines from the state excise tax on the purchase of aviation fuel.

The bill has been under discussion for the past three years.