POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 28, 2013
U.S. government insurance that guarantees airlines are covered against terrorism and war was extended for four carriers, including Honolulu-based Island Air, that otherwise would have lost coverage at the end of the year.
President Barack Obama extended the insurance for as long as one year while on vacation in Hawaii, according to the order distributed by email. The companies covered include Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison's Island Air, which the billionaire bought in February.
The U.S. stepped in to guarantee that airlines could receive insurance after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings. Most carriers remain covered under a law passed in 2002 and extended by Congress in a measure funding the Federal Aviation Administration into 2014.
Virgin America, Island Air and two others weren't covered by the extension, so Obama had to issue his order covering them, according to an FAA statement. The other carriers are Cape Air, based in Hyannis, Mass., and Seaborne Airlines, which operates flights for American Airlines Group Inc. in the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands. Seaborne is based in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Obama's administration has proposed phasing out the government-guaranteed program for airline insurance, along with other similar programs, starting in 2015.