Good news from Ellison

The sale of Island Air to Larry Ellison, the new owner of most of Lanai, seems to ensure the survival of the interisland carrier.

In fact, Ellison’s purchase of the airline, coupled with Hawaiian Airlines’ announcement of Ohana by Hawaiian, will offer both residents and visitors more choices and competition on interisland routes.

Ellison will add at least one more ATR-72 turboprop to Island Air’s fleet to go with the one that entered service this week. The ATR-72s are bigger planes than Island Air has previously flown in the state.

Ohana by Hawaiian will begin flying 48-seat ATR-42 turboprops this summer.

Mokulele Airlines, go! and Pacific Wings also provide service throughout Hawaii.

One of Ellison’s professed goals in acquiring Island Air is to make sure passenger “lift” is in place to allow for the growth of the visitor industry on Lanai.

Ellison’s purchase will secure the jobs of Island Air’s current employees – Hawaiian’s debut of Ohana by Hawaiian should add another 100 jobs to the airline industry in the state.

Tuesday’s announcement of the Island Air sale underscores Ellison’s commitment to Hawaii. That sale, along with other recent developments in the airline industry, is good news for the state.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.