The interisland carrier has signed a letter of intent
to begin short-haul flights on the mainland
By Dave Segal, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Island Air, seeking to reduce its risk in the crowded interisland market, has signed a letter of intent to conduct mainland operations with an undisclosed party using the 78-seat Bombardier Q400 airplane that Island Air recently took out of service and two other Q400s ordered but not yet delivered.
Chief Executive Robert Mauracher confirmed the deal yesterday but said final contract negotiations were still being worked out, and he wasn't prepared yet to disclose the location of the operations or the routes that will be served.
However, a person familiar with the situation said Island Air was going to be operating out of Las Vegas, possibly from a regional airport, to other cities in the U.S. West.
Mauracher said he could neither confirm nor deny the hub city. He said Island Air will be flying on behalf of another company.
"It will be very similar to what we do here, except that we'll do it on the mainland," he said. "It won't be Island Air, but our contract will be an outsourcing of services to a different party. The name will be different, but it will be operated under an Island Air certificate using Island Air employees. If things materialize like we assume, we hope to be operating by the end of the first quarter of next year."
Mauracher said Island Air still plans to remain in the Hawaii market. The regional carrier operates 103 daily interisland flights with eight 37-seat Bombardier Dash-8s. Island Air had planned to bring the three Q400s to Hawaii, but later reconsidered that move after the new interisland carrier go! stormed the market with low ticket prices.
...to finish article
Photo © Je89 W.
[Edited 2006-10-24 17:00:31]