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Island Air, go! form code-share


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POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2009

Island Air is picking up where Mokulele Airlines left off.

Mesa Air Group said yesterday it has reached a tentative code-share agreement with Island Air in which Mesa's interisland carrier go! will market services to be flown by Island Air between Kahului, Hilo and Lihue.

Phoenix-based Mesa said it expects to extend the network of code-share routes operated by Island Air once its contract with Mokulele expires on April 28.

Mesa terminated its code-share contract with Mokulele, which had operated some flights as go!Express, after Mokulele aligned itself with Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and began offering jet service.

“;Island Air is effectively taking Mokulele's place,”; Mesa Chairman and Chief Executive Jonathan Ornstein said.

Island Air flies 37-seat de Havilland Dash-8 turboprops.

Charles Willis, chairman of Island Air, said he expects the agreement with go! will allow Island Air to grow its business.

Meanwhile, Mokulele President and CEO Bill Boyer said the company, which is seeking a cash infusion after running into financial problems in paying business partner Republic, has received “;a lot of calls”; from interested investors.

Boyer said Mokulele, which had a $291,000 payment due to Republic today, will take advantage of its grace period that extends the deadline until next Friday. He said Mokulele has had record daily sales the last two days since Mokulele's financial problems surfaced.

Republic has said it would take over Mokulele's operations if Mokulele is unable to make its payments.