Heading into the 1990s, Hawaiian Airlines faced financial difficulties, racking up millions of dollars in losses throughout the previous three years. Due to the airline's increasingly unprofitable operations, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 1993. During this time, the company reduced many of its costs: reorganizing its debt, wrestling concessions from employees, cutting overcapacity, and streamlining its fleet by disposing many of the planes it had added to its fleet just a few years earlier.[24]
Increasingly since 1978, US airlines have been reincorporated and spun off by newly created and internally led management companies, and thus becoming nothing more than operating units and subsidiaries with limited financially decisive control. Among some of these holding companies and parent companies which are relatively well known, are the UAL Corporation, along with the AMR Corporation, among a long list of airline holding companies sometime recognized worldwide. Less recognized are the private equity firms which often seize managerial, financial, and board of directors control of distressed airline companies by temporarily investing large sums of capital in air carriers, to rescheme an airlines assets into a profitable organization or liquidating an air carrier of their profitable and worthwhile routes and business operations.
Airlines have substantial fixed and operating costs to establish and maintain air services: labor, fuel, airplanes, engines, spares and parts, IT services and networks, airport equipment, airport handling services, booking commissions, advertising, catering, training, aviation insurance and other costs. Thus all but a small percentage of the income from ticket sales is paid out to a wide variety of external providers or internal cost centers.
A more recent development is the airline alliance, which became prevalent in the late 1990s. These alliances can act as virtual mergers to get around government restrictions. Alliances of airlines such as Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam coordinate their passenger service programs (such as lounges and frequent-flyer programs), offer special interline tickets, and often engage in extensive codesharing (sometimes systemwide). These are increasingly integrated business combinations—sometimes including cross-equity arrangements—in which products, service standards, schedules, and airport facilities are standardized and combined for higher efficiency. One of the first airlines to start an alliance with another airline was KLM, who partnered with Northwest Airlines. Both airlines later entered the SkyTeam alliance after the fusion of KLM and Air France in 2004.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines also entered the new international markets of Australia and New Zealand in 1986 with one-stop services through Pago Pago International Airport. Hawaiian also aggressively grew its international charter business and pursued military transport contracts. This led to a large growth in the company's revenues and caused its inter-island service's share of revenues to shrink to just about a third of the company's total.[22]
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Starting December 1, 2017, guests in the main cabin on Hawaiian flights between Hawaiʻi and Western U.S. gateway cities will be treated to complimentary meal service exclusively created for the airline’s new Pau Hāna Café brand. The Pau Hāna Café, branded meals made exclusively for the airline, consists of a continental breakfast box for brunch and hot sandwich and side for lunch. Pau Hāna, a Hawaiian term for “finished work,” is a time to relax and unwind after a long workday.[97] The meal service will be followed by coffee and a sweet treat for dessert. A parting Mahalo service features the carrier’s popular Kōloa Breeze cocktail, featuring Kōloa Rum from the Island of Kauaʻi, and the airline's signature Pau Hāna snack mix.

Increasingly since 1978, US airlines have been reincorporated and spun off by newly created and internally led management companies, and thus becoming nothing more than operating units and subsidiaries with limited financially decisive control. Among some of these holding companies and parent companies which are relatively well known, are the UAL Corporation, along with the AMR Corporation, among a long list of airline holding companies sometime recognized worldwide. Less recognized are the private equity firms which often seize managerial, financial, and board of directors control of distressed airline companies by temporarily investing large sums of capital in air carriers, to rescheme an airlines assets into a profitable organization or liquidating an air carrier of their profitable and worthwhile routes and business operations.
Tony Jannus conducted the United States' first scheduled commercial airline flight on 1 January 1914 for the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.[23] The 23-minute flight traveled between St. Petersburg, Florida and Tampa, Florida, passing some 50 feet (15 m) above Tampa Bay in Jannus' Benoist XIV wood and muslin biplane flying boat. His passenger was a former mayor of St. Petersburg, who paid $400 for the privilege of sitting on a wooden bench in the open cockpit. The Airboat line operated for about four months, carrying more than 1,200 passengers who paid $5 each.[24] Chalk's International Airlines began service between Miami and Bimini in the Bahamas in February 1919. Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Chalk's claimed to be the oldest continuously operating airline in the United States until its closure in 2008.[25]
By the early 1920s, small airlines were struggling to compete, and there was a movement towards increased rationalization and consolidation. In 1924, Imperial Airways was formed from the merger of Instone Air Line Company, British Marine Air Navigation, Daimler Airway and Handley Page Transport Co Ltd., to allow British airlines to compete with stiff competition from French and German airlines that were enjoying heavy government subsidies. The airline was a pioneer in surveying and opening up air routes across the world to serve far-flung parts of the British Empire and to enhance trade and integration.[14]
Based on a novel by Iris Rainer Dart, Beaches traces the 30-year oil-and-water friendship between free-spirited Bronx Jew CC Bloom (Bette Midler) and uptight San Francisco WASP Hillary Essex (Barbara Hershey). The two meet as children in Atlantic City (played by Mayim Bialik and Marcie Leeds) and are reunited in the 1960s, when CC is a struggling singer and Hillary is trying to break free from her staid upbringing by becoming an activist. The two ladies room together, then fall out when both are attracted to off-Broadway producer John Pierce (John Heard). CC wins John, but she quickly outgrows him as she matriculates into a bawdy performer. The recently patched-up friendship between CC and Hillary is torn asunder again when Hillary and her new husband express distaste for CC's performing style. Comes the 1970s, and CC and Hillary are reunited after shedding their respective spouses. Broke again, they once more become Manhattan roommates. Their bond strengthens, but there is tragedy in store for the duo.
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