Hawaiian Island Air hired a CEO with the intention to bankrupt the airline?
Airlines and Interisland Transportation Companies in Hawaii: First it was Aloha Airlines, the SuperFerry, after that Mahalo Air, followed by United Airlines codeshare partner Island Air – all of them bankrupt. Through all of this, Hawaiian Airlines was the lucky one and had been become a little stronger, every time bringing inter-island airfares to the highest levels in decades.
On August 13, Case Number 17-01078 was filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii. The 108-page complaint alleged David Uchiyama was put in charge of Island Air with the intention to lead the Hawaiian airliner into bankruptcy, because it was known he wasn’t qualified to lead an airline.
Decades in the making and billions of dollars later, a 20-mile light rail project in Honolulu is crying for more money and time to be completed, and the new man just put in charge is David Uchiyama.
eTN in a recent article mentioned the “Good Old Boy” network still functioning in Hawaii and hurting the largest industry in the state – travel, and tourism. Travel and tourism is everyone’s business in Hawaii since the economy depends on it.
Good people with good intentions are circulated between unrelated and different high-profile and high-paying job among various industries, even if they are not related.
From teachers to radio hosts, to tourism boards, airlines, tour operators, and rail, even if they do not really understand their new position, the “old boy network” keeps chugging along. It may be okay if one was talking about entry-level jobs, but we’re talking about the top jobs in such sectors.
This has been a problem in Hawaii for decades, costing private industry and the public sector their reputation and big money. It’s money lost, and it is felt by every citizen in the state.
David Uchiyama is one of those good men who may have good intentions and is politically well connected and is now in charge of the biggest multi-billion-dollar incomplete money-eating project in Hawaii, after he just guided Island Air into bankruptcy. A complaint filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week alleged he was made CEO of Island Air because he didn’t understand the business. Influential people used him and had bad intentions and understood the risks involved.
eTN reached out to all parties in the lawsuit, and to Roberts Hawaii, the Teamster Union and HART. So far there was no response, but this article may be updated accordingly.