Hawaiian regional carrier Island Air announced that it suspends operation for good as of November 11, 2017 at 00.01 local time. The company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 16, 2017 in an attempt to save its fleet of three Dash 8-400s, after a dispute with the lessor Elix Aviation Capital.
The airline issued a press release to announce that it didn’t manage to find a new investor or lender who could provide the funding necessary for the carrier to continue its operation and restructuring. Elix Aviation Capital pressed Island Air very hard demanding to terminate all leases and reposses its aircraft.
David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO, stated that the company has taken every possible measure to avoid this negative outcome and continue serving its passengers, however, it is unable to continue the legal fight with the lessor without additional financing. He also thanked the carrier’s customers, management, employees, and vendors for the support they showed during this tough period.
The regional airline was established back in 1980 under the name Princeville Airways (Hanalei) and was renamed to Aloha Island Air (Honolulu) in 1987. As of 1992 it bears just the name of Island Air. It was connecting Honolulu with Kahului, Kona and Lihue. After the termination of Island Air, Hawaii remains with only two intra-state operators – Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) and Mokulele Airlines (Kona).