The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s plan to sell controlling interest of Island Air to two local investment groups managed by the Honolulu-based firm PacifiCap.
Ellison’s Ohana Airline Holdings purchased the Hawaii interisland carrier outright in 2013 and will maintain a noncontrolling interest moving forward while partnering with the new local ownership.
Following the DOT’s approval of the sale, Island Air’s president and CEO Dave Pflieger stepped down Feb. 9 to work directly for Ellison, and Les Murashige, the carrier’s president and CEO in 2012 and 2013, resumed the position.
“Having grown up on Kauai and lived in Hawaii all my life, I have a great appreciation for the importance of having more access and options for interisland travel,” Murashige said in a statement. “I look forward to working together with our new owners, our board and the terrific men and women of Island Air to ensure we remain Hawaii’s local alternative for interisland travel.”
David Uchiyama, the former vice president of brand management for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, will take over as Island Air’s new chief commercial officer.
Island Air recently announced plans to restore service between Honolulu Airport and Kauai’s Lihue Airport starting March 15. The carrier plans to offer six daily roundtrip flights between Oahu and Kauai.