Island Air has deal
to add 5 more planes

Island Air, which had to delay or cancel some flights in June when one of its five planes was taken out of service for repairs, said negotiations for five new aircraft have been finalized and those planes will be phased in over the next eight weeks.

Neil Takekawa, president of Island Air, said two new planes will be rotated into existing routes, two more are expected by the end of August and the 10th one is due by the end of September.

Island Air, purchased in May by San Francisco-based Gavarnie Holding LLC from Aloha Airgroup Inc., uses 37-seat de Havilland Dash-8 aircraft. The commuter carrier offers approximately 70 daily flights to Honolulu, Molokai, Lanai, Kapalua, Kahului, Kona and, beginning Aug. 16, will serve Hilo.

"With the additional aircraft to date, we have increased flights by 54 percent since Island Air became an independent airline in May," said Les Murashige, vice president of sales and revenue management for Island Air.

"As the new planes come in, we expect to have an overall flight increase of 80 percent by the end of September, offering our customers more flexibility and improved quality of service."

Takekawa said the addition of the five additional planes will increase the airline's daily flights to nearly 100. He said the one-way fares that range from $75 to $100 will remain the same.

"Probably in October, we're shooting to start (servicing) Lihue (on Kauai) and by then we'll be on all islands on all routes," Takekawa said.



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