Last night’s announcement that Superferry will be shutting down immediately came as no surprise to me. As I wrote on November 20:
“Superferry is likely to cease operations. They have too high cost, too few riders, a rough winter ocean ahead, and an upcoming decision about a complete environmental impact study, among other problems.”
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Superferry exemption from a complete environmental impact study was unconstitutional. Cut-throat competition fueled by the airlines, together with very poor economic conditions, are other good reasons for Superferry to call it quits.
The idea of a Hawaii inter-island ferry system is still something that is wanted and needed. Unfortunately, Superferry was a failed plan which used an overly large and inefficient ship, launched at the wrong time.
Superferry has ceased operations at least for now, and very likely permanently. It would not seem that they can withstand months of inability to operate, and still remain viable. The ship will make one final run on Thursday to reposition vehicles and travelers.
The Superferry website is no longer functioning. Instead there is a one-page site which states that they are attempting to contact passengers scheduled for near term voyages. Mokulele Airlines will be accommodating those passengers.