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Larry Ellison buying go! airlines

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:10 p.m. HST, Jun 20, 2013

First it was Island Air. Now it’s go! airlines. Larry Ellison, the billionaire owner of Lanai, is arranging to take control of a second interisland airline this year, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Ellison reportedly paid $300 million for Lanai last year, and followed the acquisition with a purchase of Island Air in February in part to enhance service to his island.

Now the co-founder of software giant Oracle Corp. has a deal to acquire go!

Ellison was not available for comment.

When asked if a sale was imminent, Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of go! parent Mesa Air Group, said, “I can’t confirm or deny that.”

Ornstein added he is very pleased with go!’s operations now. “This month’s passenger load factor is the highest in our history,” he said. Load factor is the percentage of seats sold.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Ellison was closing on the purchase of another airline.

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