Hawaii’s Island Air signed a letter of intent with Chicago’s Aerway Leasing last month to lease five ATR 42s, the first two of which the airline expects to arrive in Honolulu by the end of this year and the final three next summer.
As Hawaii’s Island Air enters a whole new phase of life this summer with the roll-out of a complete image and brand overhaul, half a world away Franco-Italian airframe maker ATR can add another regional carrier to its growing list of turboprop operators. By around the start of next month the long-time de Havilland Dash 8 operator officially begins the process of trading equipment allegiances with delivery of its first ex-American Eagle ATR 72-212, now undergoing a C-Check at Premier Aviation in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group reached a settlement with the former controlling shareholder of Aloha Airlines that Mesa hopes will allow it to rename its Go! subsidiary Aloha. Under the deal, Mesa has agreed to pay private-equity firm Yucaipa $2 million in cash, issue shares of Mesa common stock equal to 10 percent of its currently outstanding shares and provide former Aloha Airlines employees certain inter-island travel benefits.
Hawaiian de Havilland Dash 8 operator IslandAir withdrew from a newly awarded Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to serve four mainland communities from Kansas City last month after deeming its plans to start operations in September “unrealistic” due to rising fuel costs and a shortage of trained personnel.
Early last month Midway Phoenix, a subsidiary of Phoenix Air Group of Cartersville, Ga., and the U.S.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Hawaii yesterday ruled in favor of Hawaiian Airlines in its lawsuit against Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group, awarding $80 million in damages and ordering Mesa to pay all of Hawaiian’s legal costs and “reasonable” lawyer fees. Hawaiian had asked for $173 million and an injunction barring Mesa from operating Go! for a year, a request Judge Robert Faris rejected.
Jonathan Ornstein rarely goes more than a few weeks without making headlines in the aviation press, but the fiery CEO of Mesa Air Group outdid himself last year with the launch of his new Go! subsidiary in Hawaii.
Honolulu-based de Havilland Dash 8 operator Island Air suffered the first serious casualty of Mesa Air Group’s incursion into Hawaii last month when CEO Rob Mauraucher announced he planned to furlough or lay off 65 full-time employees, remove two aircraft from service and eliminate five of the regional airline’s 17 routes.
Jonathan Ornstein has heard assorted descriptions of his management style during his years in the regional airline business, but no one can accuse the Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO of standing still.
Mesa Air Group has now taken aim at a less visible target within the inter-island Hawaiian market, much to the dismay of incumbent turboprop stalwarts Island Air and Pacific Wings. By agreeing to enter a new code-share deal last month with Kona-based Mokulele Airlines, Mesa’s go!
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