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Larry Ellison buying go! airlines

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:10 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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HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
You know what they say about the airline business, it makes millionaires out of billionaires!
on June 20,2013 | 05:10PM
lynnh wrote:
Another step in Ellison's plan to take control so he can push his will on all of us. This man has a track record of getting things his way, example: America's Cup. He will not stop buying until he gains control to do whatever he wishes. He is a leech and is not good for Hawaii. Just ask anyone who knows his background.
on June 20,2013 | 05:19PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
After buying an island--purchasing 2 airlines seems ho-hum. Just wondering if he'll be interested in acquiring utilities and other infrastructure--say for example the former Lanai City power plant, currently owned by HECO. When he starts expanding his empire in such a way, I too may become paranoid just like Lynnh.
on June 20,2013 | 05:38PM
DonkeyCurl wrote:
Why not, I bet the Employees love the financial strength! Maybe we'll get lower fares!
on June 20,2013 | 06:46PM
Wazdat wrote:
This can only be GOOD for Hawaii....
on June 20,2013 | 07:40PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Hopefully this will result in some healthy competition for Hawaiian airlines
on June 20,2013 | 08:11PM
awahana wrote:
I flew Go! for the first time this week. Was great. Hassle free. Will fly again. I wonder if they will merge with Island Air and be under Paul Casey.
on June 20,2013 | 08:59PM
2bag_poi wrote:
Maybe Larry is making a move to bring Aloha Airlines back? Anything can happen at this point.
on June 20,2013 | 09:34PM
MKN wrote:
This is step 2 in his grand plan to have people consider the island of Lanai as the premier vacation destination. The first airline only flew interisland using small planes. Now with this acquisition, he can get people to Honolulu or any one of the other major neighbor islands so that they can take his smaller airline to get to Lanai. Hawaiian Airlines is unfortunately about to get some competition in the Hawaii market. I expect Go (aka Oracle/Ellison Airlines) to buy some additional aircraft to make this happen.
on June 20,2013 | 09:44PM
Anonymous wrote:
It would be nice if he used his riches to help out the Kamaaina by having a kamaaina only interisland flight service offering $50 RT tickets between islands. You know, since young brothers and their investors caused the superferry to shut down. I doubt Hawaiian air would be happy about the fare prices but tuff cookies, they can own the rest of the world market.
on June 20,2013 | 10:10PM
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