Oracle CEO Larry Ellison buys local airline to go with his Hawaiian island
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is following up his purchase of a Hawaiian island with a regional airline that serves the tropical paradise.
Ellison bought 98 percent of the island of Lanai in June from Los Angeles billionaire David Murdock. The exact purchase price of the deal has not been disclosed, but local observers value the 141-square-mile island at more than $500 million.
A holding company owned by Ellison took control Wednesday of Island Air, a regional carrier serving airports on all major Hawaiian islands.
The airline has 245 employees and three turboprop planes, with 224 weekly flights between the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai.
“We are excited Mr. Ellison has acquired Island Air,” Les Murashige, president of the airline, said in a statement. “He has the vision and resources to literally take Island Air to new heights.”
The carrier said it has plans for additional planes, routes and services.
Lanai, the sixth-largest Hawaiian island, was once a pineapple plantation and is still sparsely inhabited. The purchase will include two resort hotels and two golf courses with clubhouses, according to Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission.