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Hawaiian to buy Island Air assets

Hawaiian Airlines aims to assume oversight of its Ohana by Hawaiian turboprop operation after agreeing to buy some of the assets of bankrupt Island Air for $750,000, after the regional carrier shut down in November.

Honolulu-based Hawaiian will acquire Island Air's operating certificate, training records and materials, intellectual property and other real estate as part of the deal submitted by the trustee of the bankrupt airline's estate to a US Bankruptcy Court judge on 19 December.

The deal does not include Island Air's fleet of five Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which will be returned to lessors.

Hawaiian would acquire the assets through its newly-formed subsidiary Elliott Street Holdings, the airline says.

If approved, Hawaiian plans to shift its wholly-owned regional brand Ohana by Hawaiian to the former Island Air operating certificate, allowing it to replace operator Empire Airlines.

"The sale will give ‘Ohana by Hawaiian the flexibility to be able to assume oversight of operations currently provided under contract by Empire Airlines," says Hawaiian. "Those operations would include the hiring of pilots, flights attendants, and customer service and maintenance crews."

Idaho-based Empire has operated Ohana's three ATR 42-500s for Hawaiian since flights began in March 2014.

Hawaiian is also in process of beginning cargo service in the islands with three ATR 72-200 freighters.

The proposed deal for Island Air's assets requires bankruptcy court approval. Island Air filed to chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October and ceased flights in November.

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