Aloha Air Cargo
|Founded||July 26, 1946 (as Trans-Pacific Airlines)|
|Commenced operations||May 15, 2008 (separation from now-defunct Aloha Airlines)|
|Hubs||Daniel K. Inouye International Airport|
|Subsidiaries||Aloha Tech Ops|
|Parent company||Northern Aviation Services, Saltchuk|
|Headquarters||Honolulu, Hawaii, USA|
|Key people||Betsy Seaton (President & CEO)|
Aeko Kula, LLC, DBA Aloha Air Cargo, is an American air-cargo airline headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, operating from a hub at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Formerly Aloha Airlines, it became an independent cargo operator following the closure of the passenger airline in 2008.
Aloha Airlines was formed in 1946 and expanded over the next few decades. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii in 2004 in an attempt to cut costs and remain competitive with other airlines serving Hawaii. Following approval of new labor contracts and securing additional investment from new investors, the airline emerged from bankruptcy protection on February 17, 2006. The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again on March 20, 2008. Ten days later, on March 30, 2008, Aloha Airlines announced the suspension of all scheduled passenger flights, with the final day of operation to be March 31, 2008.
After the shutdown of passenger operations, Aloha and its creditors sought to auction off its profitable cargo and contract services division. Several companies expressed interest in purchasing Aloha's cargo division, including Seattle-based Saltchuk Resources, California-based Castle & Cooke Aviation, and Hawaii-based Kahala Capital (which included Richard Ing, a minority investor in the Aloha Air Group and member of Aloha's board of directors). However, a disagreement between cargo division bidders and Aloha's primary lender, GMAC Commercial Finance, ended with the bidders dropping out of the auction. Almost immediately afterwards, GMAC halted all funding to Aloha's cargo division, forcing all cargo operations to cease; at the same time, Aloha's board of directors decided to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
Saltchuk Resources decided to renew its bid to purchase the cargo division at the urging of U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, and a deal between Aloha and Saltchuk was struck and approved by the federal bankruptcy court, where Saltchuk would purchase the cargo division for $10.5 million. The sale was approved by federal Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King on May 12, 2008, with the sale expected to close two days later.
Prior to its bid for Aloha, Saltchuk Resources was already present in Hawaii through its subsidiaries Young Brothers/Hawaiian Tug & Barge, Hawaii Fuel Network, Maui Petroleum and Minit Stop Stores. The company also owns Northern Air Cargo, Alaska's largest cargo airline. A new subsidiary, Aeko Kula, LLC., was set up by Saltchuk to operate Aloha Air Cargo.
On May 15, 2008, the airline received its FAA and Department of Transport authority to operate as an independent airline. The airline went through a big transformation in the first two years of operation. The airline's first president, Mike Malik, rebranded the airline; launched a host of new products and services; and established "Aloha Tech Ops", the MRO division. During this time the airline won numerous awards and was named Hawaii's Cargo Airline of the year for 2008.
- Hilo (Hilo International Airport)
- Honolulu (Daniel K. Inouye International Airport) Hub
- Kahului (Kahului Airport)
- Kona (Kona International Airport)
- Lihue (Lihue Airport)
The Aloha Air Cargo fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2016):
|Boeing 737-300F||3||0||42,900 lbs|
|Boeing 767-300F||1||0||TBA||Operated by Air Transport International.|
The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft (as of June 2014):
- 4 Boeing 737-200C (stored) former aircraft of Aloha Airlines
- 1 Boeing 767-300F Leased from ABX Air
- 3 Saab 340AF
- October 16, 2014 - N301KH a Boeing 737-300F performing freight flight from Lanai, HI to Honolulu, HI experienced a cargo shift on take-off but the crew managed to control the aircraft and continued for a safe landing in Honolulu. The shifting cargo damaged the rear bulkhead. The incident was thought to have been caused by the cargo not being properly strapped to the floor.
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