WASHINGTON -- A group of vacation-property owners in Hawaii is
seeking a green light from the Transportation Department to set up
a private Mainland-Hawaii air service for its exclusive use.
The group plans to acquire a 757-200 aircraft, refurbish it in
an executive configuration and lease it to an airline to fly it
between Kona, on the Big Island, and San Francisco/Oakland.
The application seeking DOT approval was filed by Kona
Associates, which described itself as a firm created by "the
developers and residents of Kuklo and Hualalai," two exclusive
communities on the Kona coast.
The air service, operating once or twice a week, would be
available only to the residents of those communities and the nearby
Mauna Lani development.
Kona Associates said it expects between 80 and 120 members to
sign up, paying "a very substantial [six-figure] up-front
initiation fee ... plus substantial annual dues."
To qualify the service as private and to avoid crossing the line
into commercial service, the company said "flight privileges will
be strictly limited to members, their families, household staff and
invited guests. No sale, trade or any sort of compensation in
exchange for transportation will be permitted."
Although the aircraft would be leased to a U.S. carrier, Kona
Associates said the plane would not likely be used "for any other
The company said it has retained an aviation consulting firm to
acquire the aircraft and negotiate with a U.S. air carrier.