Island Air is bringing back two former top executives as part of its management team after the U.S. Department of Transportation approved the sale of controlling interest in the airline to two investment groups managed by Honolulu venture capitalist Jeffrey Au.
Ohana Airlines Holdings LLC, owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, said today the sale was approved to PaCap Aviation Finance LLC and Malama Investments LLC, two investment companies managed by Au’s firm, PacifiCap. The deal initially was announced on Jan. 6.
As part of the transition, former Island Air President Les Murashige, who has been retired, will take over as president and CEO for Dave Pflieger effective today. Pflieger is leaving the airline to work directly for Ellison in an unspecified position. Murashige, who was president and chief operating officer from 2012-2013, had been helping Pflieger and Au during the transition of the sale.
Rob Mauracher, who was CEO of Island Air from 2004 to 2007, will become chief operating officer. And David Uchiyama, who had been vice president of brand management for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and most recently vice president of sales and marketing for Hawaii Gas., will take on the role of chief commercial officer.
Ohana Airlines Holdings will retain a non-controlling interest in the Island Air.
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SPOOKY! They all look like gangsters to me…
Wish them luck. They are gonna need it. Hope they can provide competition against Hawn Air who basically has everyone by the short hairs.
Who cares if they have the best time on record in the US. Easy to do here when you do not have seasonal bad weather conditions to deal with for much of the year.
Meanwhile, they are hosing everyone who has to travel as there is no practical way to do so inter island except by air.
If they know what is right for them, they will go no where near trying to compete with Giant Hawaiian Air. Island Air would get squashed.
I wish them well. Hopefully their strategy is to quickly expand flights to all the major airports expecially Kona and Hilo. If they do that and operate a timely service I give them fighting chance.
Hopefully. They are going to have to sell the public not only with cheaper fares but with the idea of flying prop planes. We’ll see since the competition would be great. They might want to acquire a jet or two and take a look at LA, Vegas, etc..
Congrats Les! You have what it takes to make Island Air successful.