In 1980, Princeville Airways (now Island Air) was incorporated by Colorado-based Consolidated Oil and Gas as a subsidiary and began scheduled service between Honolulu and Princeville, on Kauaʻi, with two DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
While service was extended over the next seven years to small community destinations on other islands, Princeville Airways’ main function was to transport passengers to and from the Princeville Resort. By early 1987, Princeville’s fleet had grown to eight Twin Otters.
In May 1987, Aloha Airlines’ parent company, Aloha Airgroup, purchased Princeville Airways and renamed it Aloha Island Air. More flights were then added to its daily schedule to meet the growing demand for commuter air service to Hawaiʻi’s resort destinations.
In 1992, the company applied to register “Island Air” as its trade name, giving it a distinct identity. In 1995, Island Air received FAA “Part 121″ certification, which allowed it to operate larger aircraft. That April, Island Air took delivery of its first 37-seat Dash 8, ushering in a new era of service.
In December 2003, a purchase agreement was signed between Aloha Airgroup and Gavarnie Holding, LLC, a family-owned company. The sale was completed on May 11, 2004, making Island Air Hawaiʻi’s third independent airline.
In March 2006, Island Air received DOT approval to offer large carrier aircraft with over 66 seats. Island Air has also expanded its routes and now flies to six of Hawaiʻi’s major airports with direct and nonstop service between five Hawaiian Islands.
In 2010, Island Air celebrated its 30th Anniversary as Hawaiʻi’s second oldest carrier. Click here to listen to the song that was written for our celebration.
In February 2013, Island Air was purchased by Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s company, Ohana Airline Holdings, LLC. In addition, Island Air received FAA certification to operate 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft and began its fleet conversion.
About Island Air
Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional carrier, offering flights to and from the islands of Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lana‘i, and Kauaʻi using a fleet of 64-seat ATR-72 turboprop aircraft. Island Air’s aircraft fly at lower altitudes than jets do, providing passengers with unparalleled views of Hawai’i’s magnificent scenery – pristine coastlines, spectacular mountains, plunging waterfalls and frolicking whales.