Larry Ellison understood buyer of Island Air

Washington DC
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Oracle chief executive and co-founder Larry Ellison is understood to be the undisclosed buyer of Hawaii intra-island carrier Island Air.

Ellison is finalising a deal with the airline's parent Gavarnie Holding, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The billionaire and America's Cup winner bought nearly 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lana'i in 2012.

Island Air did not immediately respond to queries.

Michael Rodyniuk, executive vice-president of Gavarnie, told Flightglobal earlier this month that they anticipate the sale to close in February.

"This [deal] will position Island Air in a better position to compete with Hawaiian," he said.

Hawaiian has bought two ATR 42s and has the intent to acquire up to four more, in order to serve smaller destinations in the islands including Moloka'i, Lana'i and West Maui. It will compete directly with Island Air on these routes.

Island Air is replacing its three Bombardier Dash 8-100s with five ATR 42-200s and three ATR 72-500s by the end of this year.