Hawaii's Island Air to lease five ATR 42s

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Hawaii-based regional carrier Island Air has signed a letter of intent with Chicago-based Aerway Leasing for five ATR 42s.

The first two aircraft will arrive by end-2012 while the remaining three will join the fleet in the summer of 2013, says the airline.

"These aircraft represent an integral part of our plan to deliver on our service commitment to the ever increasing number of guests flying with us each day and is the next step in our new business plan," says Island Air chief executive Lesley Kaneshiro.

Island Air said that it would phase out its Bombardier Dash 8-100 fleet by end-2012 and replace the aircraft with five ATR 42s and at least three ATR 72s earlier this year.

Scott Topping, chief financial officer of Hawaiian Airlines, the dominant player in Hawaii, said that the airline had signed an agreement to buy two turboprop aircraft as part of its plan to launch a new regional carrier within the state, on 5 September.

He said that the airline could acquire up to seven turboprops in the future. Hawaiian is understood to have acquired ATR 42s as well, sources have told Flightglobal.