Island Air shows off new livery as Hawaiian competition heats up

Washington DC
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Hawaii-based Island Air has revealed a new livery to adorn a new fleet of 50- and 70-seat turboprops schedule to enter service next month, but its growth strategy is now threatened by its larger rival Hawaiian Airlines.

The five ATR 42s and at least three ATR 72-500s entering service between next month and January 2014 will allow the inter-island regional carrier to phase out Bombardier Dash 8-100s.

The eight new aircraft are expected to fuel the carrier's growth strategy.

"We'll be Hawaii's fastest growing inter-island carrier," chief executive Lesley Kaneshiro says in a statement.

But Island Air, a 2004 spin-off of the now-defunct Aloha Air, will face new competition in addition to traditional inter-island rival Mokulele Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines parent Hawaiian Holdings revealed earlier this week it had signed a letter of intent to set up a regional subsidiary, using an fleet of undisclosed turboprops under 50 seats for inter-island flights.

Hawaiian Air plans to acquire up to six used turboprops, but has not released a timeline for completing the deal.