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Hawaii Superferry to lay-off staff in wake of shut down

HAWAII Superferry has started laying off its workforce in the aftermath of a state Supreme Court decision that caused the company to shut down operations. The announcement is an indication that the company is unlikely to resume operations in the near future. Layoffs are to commence on Friday after the last scheduled round-trip to retrieve cars and passengers that need to be brought back to the company’s home base is completed on Thursday. Hawaii Superferry said it has 161 full and part-time employees, and 75 external contractors. The company is working with state officials to provide relocation assistance. “These are exceptional people who have been valued members of our company. Anyone who has sailed on [the company’s ferry] Alakai can attest to their competence,” the company said. The service began with one catamaran in December 2007, providing daily vehicle and passenger service between Honolulu Harbour on Oahu Island and Kahului Harbour in Maui. The company hoped to add a service to Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai and planned to add service to Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island in 2010. While stating that it is taking a “prudent” approach to appealing the court decision, the company added: We have operated on a regular, reliable and responsible basis. During this time over 250,000 people have booked travel on Alakai and it has provided new economic opportunities for Hawaii’s businesses.”
Ferry operations are being suspended after tomorrow's voyage, after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a state law allowing the Superferry to operate without a complete environmental impact statement was unconstitutional.

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