Hawaiian buys first ATR 42

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Hawaiian Holdings today announced completing the purchase of a used ATR 42 turboprop, the first of up to seven such aircraft for a still-unbranded, inter-island subsidiary.

The 44 to 50-seat ATR 42 acquired from ASL Aviation Group will be used to launch service between Moloka'i and Lana'i sometime next year, Hawiian says.

It will compete against Mokulele Airlines and Pacific Wings on the Moloka'i route. On the Lana'i route, Hawaiian's ATR 42 will compete against service offered by Mesa's go!, Island Air and Mokulele.

Last month, Hawaiian announced that it had signed agreements to eventually purchase two turboprops from an unnamed supplier, and disclosed its current plan to buy up to five aircraft for the new inter-island subsidiary. Another two turborprops could be added in the future.

The Honolulu-based carrier is aiming the turboprops at airports within the island chain that cannot be served by its fleet Boeing 717-200s.

Meanwhile, competitor Island Air is leasing five used ATR 42s and three ATR 72s to expand its fleet and phase out Bombardier Dash 8-100 turboprops.