Why are Hawaii Inter Island Flights so Expensive

Changes Coming to Island Air Hawaii

Island Air Hawaii announced this week that CEO Paul Casey will step down on October 1, 2014, to be replaced by David Pflieger. Most interesting about the new appointment is that David comes with tremendous global aviation experience which on the surface seems to be more than what Island Air current operations might dictate. We were a bit surprised at just how impressive his resume is.

We’ve written about Island Air Hawaii previously, as we’ve had both positive and negative experiences with them. To help alleviate plane related problems, the airline is in the process of re-fleeting this fall to new Q400 turbo prop aircraft from their prior used ATR-72’s. The new 71 passenger planes will also feature a first class cabin. Bombardier’s Q400 is considered by many to be the best of current generation turbo prop aircraft.

Based on this change of executives and new aircraft, we anticipate Island Air becoming more competitive with Hawaiian Airlines in the Hawaii inter-island market. Competition is a good thing and will hopefully result in some downward pressure on costs for flights in Hawaii. As you know it can sometimes cost as much to fly inter-island as it does to fly to Hawaii from the mainland.

David Pflieger’s prior experience:

  • President/CEO of Florida’s Silver Airways. 170 flights to 38 destinations daily based in Ft. Lauderdale.
  • CEO of Air Pacific/Fiji Airways.
  • Chairman Fiji Tourism Board
  • Virgin America. Start-up officer in a team that grew the company from 14 people to 1,300.
  • VP at Delta’s short-lived discount arm Song.
  • Boeing and Airbus pilot at Virgin and Delta.

We wish Island Air well during this entire transition.

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