Sunday, September 3, 2017

Island Air charting course for Hilo flights

Passenger airline Island Air plans to offer flights to and from Hilo International Airport this year.

The airline’s CEO, David Uchiyama, said in an email the airline is continuing expansion of its market with “plans to begin service to Hilo later this year.” But he did not offer a specific start date.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer told the Tribune-Herald via email that the FAA is “currently certificating their new pilots to fly the aircraft they will use at Hilo — the Q400 turboprop.”

The Q400 aircraft, according to Island Air, is a 78-passenger twin-engine plane with 64 standard seats and 14 “premium” ones. It flies 30 percent faster than “conventional turboprops,” the airline reports, which allows for a higher volume of daily flights.

Island Air already flies from the Kona airport to Honolulu, Kahului on Maui and Lihue on Kauai for about $220 round trip. It’s not clear to which destinations Island Air will fly from Hilo.

Island Air announced in February that it would expand from six daily flights to 10 between Honolulu and Kona, from eight flights to 16 between Honolulu and Kahului, and from six to eight flights between Honolulu and Lihue.

Its goal has been an increase from 265 daily interisland flights across Hawaii to 476 total.

Island Air celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2015.

It was bought by Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s company Ohana Airline Holdings LLC in 2013.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://hawaiitribune-herald.com

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