13 NOVEMBER 2017
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Hawaii’s second-largest airline, Island Air, ceased operations on Friday after failing to solve financial problems that had led it shortly before to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (BTN 6 November).
CEO David Uchiyama, the former director of international marketing for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, who was hired to turn the airline around, said he broke the news to staff by email “with a heavy heart”.
In his message he said: “We have exhausted all options that would allow us to continue, and we have not been able to solidify any of those option(s) within the time frame needed.
“We will need to work through this day with our heads held high knowing that we did all that we could do to provide an affordable alternative to inter-island travel for our islands.”
Island Air, which has about 400 employees, filed for bankruptcy protection on October 16 after its aircraft lessor, Ireland-based Elix Assets 8 Ltd, attempted to repossess the company’s three remaining Q400 aircraft over alleged non-payment.
The airline, which flew inter-island routes for 37 years, had lost money every quarter for the past 4.5 of them.
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