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Island Air to shut down after 37 years

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    Island Air said it will cease flying after Friday service.

Island Air, the state’s second-largest airline, said today its last day of service will be Friday after having exhausted all options to remain flying.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must inform all of you that tomorrow Friday the 10th of November will be the last day for Island Air to be in service,” CEO David Uchiyama said in an email today to employees. “We have exhausted all options that would allow us to continue and we have not been able to solidify any of those option(s) within the time frame needed.

“We will need to work through this day with our heads held high knowing that we did all that we could do to provide an affordable alternative to interisland travel for our islands.”

Island Air, which has about 400 employees, filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 16 after its aircraft lessor, Ireland-based Elix Assets 8 Ltd., attempted to repossess the company’s three remaining Q400 aircraft for nonpayment.

The airline, which flew interisland routes for 37 years, had lost money every quarter for the past 4-1/2 years.

Island Air said all passengers must make alternative arrangements for interisland transportation. The airline said in a message on its website that passengers need to contact their credit card company for inquiries on refunds. It said for any questions or concerns to call 1-800-652-6541.

Hawaiian Airlines said it will honor Island Air tickets for the next week on a standby basis.

“Hawaiian Airlines is working quickly to provide flight relief for travelers who have been displaced by the shutdown of Island Air operations,” Hawiian said in a news release. “Starting Nov. 11 through 17, Island Air guests holding a confirmed reservation to/from/via Honolulu, Oahu (HNL); Kahului, Maui (OGG); Kona, Hawaii Island (KOA); and Lihue, Kauai (LIH) can standby for Coach Class seating on Hawaiian’s regularly scheduled flights between the same origin and destination cities on the ticketed day of departure.”

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