Island Air

Island Air Cuts Hawaii Inter-Island Flights

Sad news today that Island Air is eliminating two routes entirely, leaving only two routes and just one non-stop. Just a few weeks ago we pondered Will Island Air Survive? It now appears that question will soon be answered.

Effective June 1, Island Air routes will consist only of the following:

  • Maui to Lanai – twice daily nonstop. Previously there were five daily flights.
  • Honolulu to Lanai – twice daily connecting on Maui. Flights will now take 90 minutes instead of less than 30.

Service is eliminated between Lihue (Kauai) and Honolulu and all nonstop flights between Lanai and Honolulu.

Hawaii visitors and locals had high hopes for the company when it was bought by Larry Ellison just two years ago. Since then, however, problems have included:

  • Failure to define and execute a successful plan to compete inter-island with Hawaiian Airlines, which also offers nonstop service to Lanai.
  • Fleet of problematic ATR-72 aircraft. These planes have had reliability issues since the beginning, and are not as comfortable or desirable as Hawaiian Airlines B-717 planes for major inter-island routes.
  • Aborted change in aircraft. Island Air previously announced purchasing state of the art Q400 aircraft to replace the ATR’s. Pilots were trained on the new planes, which made them ineligible to fly the previous ATR planes without retraining. In the end the Q400’s never arrived in Hawaii and what will happen to those has not yet been revealed.

It appears that Island Air will exist primarily to serve visitors to Ellison’s Lanai resorts who are travelling via Maui. On the other hand, Hawaiian Airlines has retained an advantage inasmuch as visitors will typically be flying from the mainland. Hawaiian Airlines can provide complete point-to-point service to Lanai from throughout the mainland and elsewhere.

We’ll see if this news becomes the invitation to another airline to begin offering Hawaii inter-island flights.

4 thoughts on “Island Air Cuts Hawaii Inter-Island Flights”

  1. maybe this is just temporary as the FS manele bay will closed in june for 6 months and the Lodge is already shut down to house construction workers for the renovations

    1. Hi Greg,

      While we would hope that is true, it just isn’t likely. Island Air has acknowledged that they need to regroup on their operations. If they had a thought about resuming in six month or whenever, they would have so indicated. Best hope seems to be attracting another inter-island airline.


  2. This is a shame. Hawaiian needs some competition or the rates will continue to climb.

    Does this mean if you want to go from Honolulu to Maui on Island Air, you have to book the ticket to Lanai? That doesn’t make sense, as seats won’t open up for people who want to fly from Maui to Lanai.

    1. Hi Sherri,

      You can still book just from Honolulu to Maui. In the end it is hard to know what will happen with Island Air. Quite a mess at the moment.


Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top