Got a ticket on Island Air? Here's what you need to know


Island Air, the airline whose service linked four Hawaiian islands, will shut down as of midnight Friday, the company announced late Thursday.

The airline said in a message on its website that passengers should contact their credit card company for inquiries on refunds.

The airline, which flew interisland routes for 37 years, had lost money every quarter for the past 4-1/2 years.

Island Air passengers with confirmed reservations to or from Honolulu, Kahului, Kona and Lihue can standby for a coach seat on Hawaiian Airlines.

Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for flights on Hawaiian.

Island Air operated over 200 weekly flights between the Hawaiian islands with their fleet of Q400s. Island Air's last flight will be Flight 449, scheduled to depart Kahului at 10:14 p.m. today and arrive in Honolulu at 10:49 p.m.

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The airline was started in 1980 under the name Princeville Airways.

'I want to thank Island Air for its decades of service to our communities, ' Gov. David Ige wrote in a statement.

Hawaii Island Air, Island Air's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection October 16 in an effort to continue operations following threats of legal action by the lessors of the airline's new 78-seat Bombardier Q-400 turboprops to repossess three aircraft. The bankruptcy filing blocked Elix from taking possession of the planes.

The shutdown of the airline also marked the loss of jobs for Island Air's employees. Faris said he was concerned about the cash situation and that without a cash infusion Island Air "can't go on for long whatever happens".

Island Air officials said they hope to compensate employees fully through Friday, but the final determination regarding that would be up to the Bankruptcy Court trustee.

Hawaii aviation historian Peter Forman said the airline made it harder on itself once it moved to larger aircraft. "It needed to be replaced because of aging, and the larger aircraft used (first the 64-seat ATR 72s and then the 78-seat Bombardier Q400s) seated almost twice the number of passengers". But Island Air was unable to locate a new investor or lender to provide funding to support airline flight operations and a successful reorganization, the airline said. In 1995, the airline had changed the name to Island Air.