Hawaii's Second Largest Airline Just Shut Down After 37 Years
Island Air, Hawaii’s second-largest airline, shut down Friday after operating for 37 years.
The airline, which shuttled passengers between islands, closed after falling short of its revenue expectations for the last four years. Island Air filed for bankrupcy protection on October 16, according to the Associated Press
“Island Air has taken every measure possible to avoid this tremendous hardship to its passengers,” David Uchiyama, Island Air's president, told the AP.
The airline put a message up on its website over the weekend, directing customers to contact their credit card company about refunds. Customers can also call 1-800-652-6541 with questions.
Passengers aren't the only ones affected, however, as the airline's closure leaves hundreds of people without jobs.
“I want to thank Island Air for its decade of service to our communities,” Hawaii's Gov. David Ige said in a statement. “The closure will have a tremendous effect on 400 employees and their families, and the state will be working with Island Air to help the employees apply for unemployment insurance and provide assistance with job searches and training opportunities.
Island Air's shutdown is likely to send business to Hawaiian Airlines, which is already the state’s biggest airline. Hawaiian Airlines said it will honor passengers who had Island Air tickets on standby throughout the next week.
Southwest Airlines, which plans to offer flights to Hawaii starting in 2018, is even considering inter-island flights down the line.