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New turboprop operation called 'Ohana by Hawaiian

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 12:50 p.m. HST, Feb 11, 2013

Hawaiian Airlines’ new interisland turboprop operation will be called ‘Ohana by Hawaiian and it will feature a kapa pattern symbolizing ancestry, family and transportation.

The company held a news conference today at Honolulu Airport to discuss the turboprop service.

Hawaiian said service to Lanai and Molokai will begin this summer aboard its recently acquired ATR 42 twin-turboprop aircraft. The ATRs, manufactured by Franco-Italian airframe maker ATR, will seat 48 passengers. The aircraft was designed by Hilo-based artist Sig Zane and his son Kuha‘o.

The turboprop operation, which will be operated by contractor Empire Airlines, will enable Hawaiian to serve the state's smaller airports and put additional pressure on smaller rival Island Air, which is in the midst of  negotiating a sale of its airline.

Hadden Watt, the operation’s managing director of ’Ohana, estimates the new service will create up to 100 new jobs.

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