Chapter 27

At this time, I had met Ed Swofford, President of Aloha. Ed recently joined Aloha from Pan Am. After several visits, he became interested in the MD-80s. Pete Economou was still at Aloha; in fact, he was the number two man in the airline behind Ed. Though I was friends with Pete and we socialized, he would probably not forget the first go-around on delivery positions. It was a long shot and Ed did want the aircraft. He knew Hawaiian was getting the MD-80 and he felt he could use two aircraft.

We negotiated a Letter of Intent, and they scheduled a board meeting in Honolulu to make the decision. With the potential for another win at the meeting, Kim brought Herb Depp, another Salesman, along to slide in and take credit. We lost, and Herb left Aloha alone.

Pete stopped the purchase of the MD-80. Even Ed could not overcome Petes power with the Board of Directors. That was it, Aloha went on to become famous when the roof of one of their aircraft came off and I continued to visit Hawaiian. Three tries and you are out.

The most memorable thing that did happen during this campaign was Dr. Hung Wo Chings remark at a Finance presentation by MDFC, the Finance arm of McDonnell Douglas. He looked at the slide on the wall and said he could get a better interest rate from a pawnbroker. To say the least, it brought a chuckle to the room, one to remember.