The parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Holdings Inc., announced recently it has purchased an airplane to begin scheduled service to Molokai and Lanai.
The Pacific Business News reported that the company will acquire a second ATR 42 twin turbo-prop airplane next month and begin service with both aircraft by next year. The two planes are being bought from ASL Aviation Group Ltd. in Dublin, Ireland for an undisclosed price.
The two planes will be configured to seat 44 to 50 passengers for the interisland flights, Hawaiian Airlines said.
Hawaiian Airlines announced July 17 that it would be creating a subsidiary to operate the planes flying to Molokai and Lanai. The name and details about this new company are still being developed.
“These are the ideal aircraft for service to the less-populated islands in our state,” Hawaiian Holdings President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement. “This new service will complement the (Boeing) 717 jet service offered by Hawaiian Airlines as well as provide the additional service that Molokai and Lanai residents have been requesting.”
Shortly after the announcement in July, Island Air said it had plans to double its interisland turboprop fleet by the end of 2013 by acquiring five ATR 42s and other aircraft.
At this time, Island Air is the only airline that offers flights to Molokai on the larger, 37-seat Dash 8 aircraft. The two other non-charter passenger airlines that come to Molokai — Pacific Wings and Go-Mokulele — fly in the small, 9-seat Cessna Grand Caravan turbo-prop planes.