October 28, 2008
Hawaii Superferry to delay deployment of second vessel
Hawaii Superferry today said that it is postponing the introduction of its second ship and start of service to the Big Island for approximately one year. The company anticipates the financial and economic climate will by then be more conducive to starting the new route. The company will continue its current schedule of service between the islands of O'ahu and Maui with its first ship, the Alakai.
The second of Hawaii Superferry's two 113 m catamarans was launched at Austal USA's Mobile, Alabama, shipyard last month. The company is expecting to take delivery of it in Mobile in late February 2009 and says it "will look at short-term opportunities for use of the ship prior to its induction into service in the islands."
"Hawaii Superferry remains committed to serving the people and businesses of Hawaii," said Superferry President and CEO Tom Fargo. "We're encouraged by the increased ridership we experienced this summer and by the very positive feedback we've been receiving about our service. Postponing the introduction of our second ship will defer over $10 million in start-up costs and enable us to maintain our sound financial position. Given today's economic uncertainties, this decision is both prudent and provides us with additional time to develop this market, while continuing to grow our successful Oahu and Maui service.
"We believe that our business plan is solid for the long run," continued Mr. Fargo. "Serving the islands, including the Big Island and Kauai, remains our goal and is very important to us. In the meantime, we will continue our focus of providing a reliable and responsible service between Maui and Oahu and preparations for the arrival of our second ship to ensure its successful launch."