The U.S. Department of Transportation has charged that Los Angeles-based Hawaiian Pacific Airlines is “selling air transportation” between the mainland and Hawaii without the necessary authority.
In a warning to consumers issued last week, the department’s Office of Community and Consumer Affairs said it is investigating the firm. It said the airline, which has never flown and owns no airplanes, is apparently violating a 1984 federal court injunction against advertising or selling advance tickets and a civil contempt order issued in March.
The agency’s statement said Hawaiian Pacific has established a toll-free telephone number and is providing information about Los Angeles-Honolulu and San Francisco-Honolulu service to begin in January. But “Hawaiian Pacific has no authority from DOT to provide any air service,” the agency said.
Kevin Von Feldt, president of the airline, reached in Chicago, denied any wrongdoing.
“We are not on sale now and we are not taking reservations and we’re in no way public with any selling of air transport,” he said. “We’re in the process of doing a lot of filings and (preparing) legal papers which are not public right now.”
Plans for 747s
Von Feldt added that “we find it curious that DOT sends out a press release with a consumer alert on it saying ‘Hawaiian Pacific is not certified to sell air transportation’ when we’re not selling and we don’t plan on doing so until (at) the earliest next month, and we will never do it until we have fully complied.”
Von Feldt said in the interview that his airline expects to have four Boeing 747s in service by April 1.
The Civil Aeronautics Board, which handled such matters until it was disbanded last year, had issued warnings several times since 1983 against airlines owned or controlled by Von Feldt. Earlier this year, the Transportation Department, which assumed some of CAB’s functions, warned consumers not to buy tickets from Golden West Airlines, which Von Feldt took over after it filed for bankruptcy.