Island Air today announced it plans to restore service to the island of Kauai with six daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Lihue Airport, effective March 15, subject to government approval.
The return to Lihue is expected to benefit Kauai and the traveling public by offering more seats and more flight options for interisland travel, and the new service will create local jobs.
Having served Kauai since 2004, Hawaii’s second airline suspended its Lihue service in June 2015 as part of a comprehensive effort to restructure its operations. To further support its successful turnaround and plans for expansion, the airline recently announced that it was selling a controlling interest in the company to two Hawaii investor groups managed by local investment firm PacifiCap and its founder Jeffrey Au.
Pending U.S. Department of Transportation review and approval of the sale, the airline is being overseen by a transition team comprised of PacifiCap’s Au, current Island Air CEO Dave Pflieger and former Island Air executive and Kauai native, Les Murashige.
“Recognizing that for many local people interisland travel is a necessity and not a luxury, this is an important first step in our mission to benefit our local community in Hawaii by providing more seat availability and more options for interisland travel,” said Au.
“Island Air’s return to Kauai with service between Lihue and Honolulu is great news! This will create local jobs and contribute to our local economy as well as provide another interisland travel option for our residents and visitors,” said Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr.
“We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to demonstrate our new direction and commitment to create a strong second airline for Hawaii than to restore service to Kauai and offer local residents and visitors an even greater choice in air travel,” said Pflieger.
“Having grown up on Kauai and returning home often to visit family, I deeply appreciate the importance of having access to interisland travel options,” said Murashige.