Maui Business

Island Air to Purchase up to 6 New Aircraft

March 31, 2014, 1:34 PM HST
* Updated March 31, 4:51 PM
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Q400 NextGen aircraft in Island Air’s livery. Courtesy photo Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Q400 NextGen aircraft in Island Air’s livery. Courtesy photo Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

By Wendy Osher

Canada-based Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Hawaiʻi Island Air, Inc. which does business in Hawaiʻi as Island Air, has placed an order for two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners, with an option to buy four more.

According to the announcement, the firm order is valued at approximately $60.9 million for the first two aircraft, with the value having the potential to increase to $188 million should Island Air exercise all of its options.

Island Air was purchased by Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s ʻOhana Airline Holdings company in February 2013, and employs an estimated 250 personnel. Prior to purchasing the company, Ellison also became the majority owner of the island of Lānaʻi.

“We are pleased to partner with Bombardier as Island Air moves to redefine regional travel within the Hawaiian islands and offer our passengers the premium product they expect,” said Island Air’s owner, Larry Ellison in a company press release announcement.

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“The Q400 NextGen aircraft is clearly the most suitable airliner for Island Air and will provide a superior passenger experience coupled with unbeatable performance. My experience with Bombardier over the years has been nothing but positive which has further led to our selection of the Q400 NextGen aircraft for the next chapter of Island Air,” said Ellison.

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Optimized for short-haul operations, the aircraft will feature a 71-seat configuration, and is touted as being “large, fast, quiet and fuel efficient.”

“As part of our ongoing restructuring and expansion strategy, the Island Air team considered a number of aircraft and we are pleased to announce the selection of the Q400 NextGen turboprop,” said Paul Casey, president and chief executive officer of Island Air.

Island Air currently offers flights to and from Honolulu on Oʻahu, Līhuʻe on Kauaʻi, Kahului on Maui, and Lāna‘i, using a fleet of 64-seat ATR-72 turboprop aircraft.

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In January, the airline unveiled a new logo featuring an ʻiʻiwi bird in its design.

 

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