Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group may have one more woe to add to its lengthening list. Aloha Airlines' 2007 lawsuit against the local company didn't go away when the Honolulu-based carrier did. In fact, the failed airline is looking to sell the suit and its potential settlement.
Aloha, which slipped into bankruptcy in March and soon ceased all passenger operations, is auctioning its lawsuit against Mesa Air.
Hawaiian Airlines already won a $90 million judgment against Mesa Air but settled for a $52.5 million payout. Hawaiian claimed Mesa Air used proprietary information to start its own inter-island subsidiary, go!
Aloha claimed the same and also sued Mesa Air, but that lawsuit had not yet been heard when cash-strapped Aloha folded. In Honolulu District Court last week, federal Judge David Ezra said the Aloha-Mesa Air lawsuit had languished so long, he will stick with the same hearing schedule even if somebody buys the suit from Aloha, Honolulu TV station KHON-TV (Channel 2) reported.
Besides the Aloha suit and the Hawaiian Airlines settlement, Mesa Air is embroiled in litigation with Delta Air Lines. Delta said it wants to cancel a contract for Mesa Air to fly its regional service, Delta Connection, because Mesa Air defaulted on performance goals.
Mesa Air CEO Jonathan Ornstein has said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the company will not be able to meet its financial obligations if Delta is allowed to dump the Connection contract.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.