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Oracle's Ellison buys Island Air, adding to his Hawaii portfolio

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 03:52 p.m. HST, Feb 26, 2013

Billionaire Larry Ellison, who bought 97 percent of Lanai in June, is the new owner of Island Air, the inter-island airline confirmed today.

Ellison, the CEO and co-founder of software giant Oracle Corp., completed the sale today. The sales price was not disclosed.

Ellison was not at the news conference to announce the sale. 

Company officials said they will keep the name Island Air and there will be no layoffs.

Island Air announced in January it had a preliminary sale agreement with an undisclosed buyer, and sources told the Star-Advertiser that Ellison was the purchaser.

Island Air, a turboprop carrier with 5 percent of the interisland market, typically flies five flights a day to Lanai. Owning Island Air would ensure a steady stream of visitors to Ellison's Lanai holdings, including The Lodge at Koele, the Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay, two golf courses and a luxury home development.

Island Air received Federal Aviation Administration certification Sunday of its recently acquired 64-seat ATR 72 turboprop that it calls the future of the airline. It also recently reached new labor contracts with its five unions — pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, stock clerks and dispatchers. The ATR certification and new labor contracts were part of the sale agreement.

The ATR 72 is expected to go into service Wednesday on a Honolulu-Lihue route.

Island Air, which has 245 employees, had given them 60 days’ notice that their employment may end on March 11 due to a change of ownership or shutdown.

Ellison, the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corp., is listed by Forbes as the third-richest person in America with a net worth of $41 billion.

Ellison has not disclosed what he paid for the 97 percent of Lanai that he bought from fellow billionaire David Murdock, chairman of Dole Food Co.

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allie wrote:
cool..hope it helps safety and on-time service
on February 26,2013 | 01:55PM
Steve96785 wrote:
I could be enticed to fly Island Air if he adds his MIG-21 to the fleet.
on February 26,2013 | 02:10PM
hornswoggler wrote:
He has a MIG 29. The US government won't let him bring it into the country.
on February 26,2013 | 04:30PM
Steve96785 wrote:
He flies frequently around Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. quite a few people have MIGs and they fly often in air shows, along with other foreign war planes. The USAF has a small squadron of more recent MIGs for war games and pilot training exercises as well as Mirage and others found in potential enemy and allied forces.
on February 26,2013 | 04:34PM
Mikilai wrote:
awesome!! can't wait to visit Lana'i in the future... I heard he has big plans to make a big sports park for the Maui County games. The families and children will be so blessed to have the opportunity to play out there!!
on February 26,2013 | 02:34PM
honopic wrote:
First, we take Austria. Then, a little bit of Czechoslovakia. Then we take Lithuania. After that, we set our sights on Poland.....
on February 26,2013 | 02:36PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Wow laulau 41 Billion with a B.........that's bigger than the GNP for how many countries in the World? He made a wise business move to integrate vertically ie: he now has transportation to get to his island from the other islands........sweet move.. Next move is to get off fossil fuels as much as possible.
on February 26,2013 | 02:46PM
PCTekHI wrote:
well, 97% of Lanai is his, he can do 97% of things he wants or can he? Can he cut out that 3%? BTW, who owns that other 3%?
on February 26,2013 | 03:10PM
ichiriu wrote:
Probably the state, for things like the airport, and the other residents.
on February 26,2013 | 06:14PM
my13cents wrote:
When is Ellison going to allow gambling on Lanai ?
on February 26,2013 | 05:04PM
SueH wrote:
"...there will be no layoffs".....at least none THIS week!
on February 26,2013 | 06:21PM
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