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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:52 p.m., Friday, December 5, 2003

Aloha to sell commuter airline

By Kelly Yamanouchi
Advertiser Staff Writer

Aloha Airlines' parent, Aloha Airgroup Inc., is selling commuter airline Island Air.

The sale of Aloha IslandAir Inc. to family-owned company Gavarnie Holding LLC is expected to close March 1 provided regulators approve.

Island Air operates 46 flights a day from Honolulu to Kahului, Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kapalua. No sales price was immediately disclosed.

Gavarnie Holding's principals are Charles and Austin Willis.

According to Island Air, the sale will make Island Air the Hawai'iís third independent airline with Hawaiian and Aloha and the company plans to add new interisland routes for commuters.

Aloha Airgroup President Glenn Zander said the company wanted to expand Island Air, but decided selling the airline could "position Island Air for growth in markets that can be better served by its fleet."

Island Air plans to add five more aircraft to its fleet of four 37-seat planes, hire more employees and add six new routes - Maui-Kona, Maui-Lihue, Maui-Hilo, Honolulu-Kona and Honolulu-Lihue.

Aloha said the sale would not affect current reservations or operations. Island Air passengers will continue to receive AlohaPass frequent flier credits.

All Island Air employees will be retained by the new owner, the company said.

Reach Kelly Yamanouchi at 535-2470, or at kyamanouchi@honoluluadvertiser.com.