The story did continue

Sometimes the follow-up to a story will come from a unique place. In this case, it came from a glance at an ad, on Facebook, by a local estate auction company.

In the post, I recognized the logo of a company that this auction company – Oahu Auctions and Liquidators – posted on its ad.

Logo of the Naval Air Museum Barbers Point

It was the logo of an air services company that I wrote about in the series of reports about the eviction of the Naval Air Museum at Barbers Point in and around November of 2019. The company at the center of the saga was called Aloha Wing Spirit.

One can read the entire saga in Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Going back to the identification of a logo in an auction company’s ad, turns out they are liquidating the assets of Aloha Wing Spirit. In the description of the auction on the website, it reads,

 “Wing Spirit, a luxury private charter operation servicing the islands and Asia, filed for bankruptcy in November of 2020. Up for auction are runway & aviation support equipment along with medical equipment.”

Oahu Auctions description, pulled from website

That got me thinking of why I didn’t hear about the bankruptcy when it happened last year. Turns out the news on this was almost buried by the local press. Outside of a blurb in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the event was only reported in the legal trade papers.

From those trade paper reports, it also turns out the bankruptcy had its saga. Filing for Chapter 11 (corporate restructuring) in November 2020, the case was converted to a Chapter 7 filing (liquidation) on March 22, 2021

With the conversion came the order for sale.

In looking at the auction itself, Aloha Wing Spirit seems to have anticipated brisk operations upon start-up. They have a computer, aircraft, and office equipment for sale (and as of Wednesday 6/23, you could pick up a computer monitor for a song).

While one can pin the demise of Aloha Wing Spirit squarely on economic effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of things in the auction shows that at one point, they were dead serious about getting operations off the ground.

Current location of the Naval Air Museum’s planes at Kaleaeloa Airport.
PC: Google Maps, pulled 6-24-2021 (circle shows where the planes are parked)

Now whether the company, who landed one of their planes at Kalaeloa Airport during my reporting, was going to be a permanent presence at that airport decamping the Museum, that may never be known. As of the most recent Google Maps look at the area the Museum was at, the planes that the State said would be removed are still there.

The museum is reportedly out of business as of the middle of 2020.