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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Island Air makeover under way

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Island Air unveiled its new jet-prop aircraft yesterday. The company will be adding two other such planes to its fleet as part of its image makeover. The interisland carrier's three new tail designs will picture a hula dancer, surfboards and 'ukulele.

Hugh Gentry photo

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Island Air unveiled its new aircraft yesterday as part of an overall image makeover by the local interisland carrier.

Island Air introduced its new 78-seat, Bombardier Q400 jet-prop aircraft, which will be the first of three such aircraft in the interisland carriers' fleet.

"We're confident that with our new planes, new look and new services, Island Air will be the best carrier serving Hawai'i's interisland market," said Rob Mauracher, Island Air's chief executive officer.

The new planes coincide with Island Air's redesign of its brand image, which incorporates Island-style themes. The airline's new tail design will feature three different designs: a hula dancer, surfboards and 'ukulele.

The airline also redesigned its Web site and its signage at Hawai'i's airports.

The corporate makeover comes more than two years after Gavarnie Holdings' LLC of San Francisco purchased Island Air from Aloha Airgroup Inc.

Since the acquisition, Island Air has expanded its fleet from four Dash-8 turbo-prop aircraft to 11 today. The airline now operates 92 daily flights between O'ahu, Maui, the Big Island, Moloka'i and Lana'i.

In addition to Island Air, competitors Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have announced plans to expand their aircraft fleet just as Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc. has announced plans to start up a fourth interisland carrier.

Reach Rick Daysog at rdaysog@honoluluadvertiser.com.