By Diane Ako – February 1 |

HONOLULU (Island News) — The anticipated merger of Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines will give local residents more travel options. That’s one of the topics that came out of a Chamber of Commerce Hawaii luncheon in which the CEOs of both airlines updated the business community on air travel.

Alaska Airlines CEO and President Ben Minicucci addressed the big drama right away. The door plug incident on that now infamous Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5 that resulted in a three-week grounding of 737 MAX 9s everywhere.

“We were focusing on a lot of things and did not expect the Max 9 event to happen. For those of you following the news, that was a really tough event for our company,” Minicucci shared.

And Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram talked about the planned merger of Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines.

“We’ve got a couple important things that have to happen before we can combine. On the Hawaiian side, our shareholders have to vote on the deal. We’re in the middle of soliciting votes for the shareholder votes in the middle of February,” he listed.

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