Oracle's Ellison to buy Island Air

Published On: Feb 26 2013 02:53:00 PM HST

Billionaire Larry Ellison, the owner of Lanai island, now has a new airline to go with it.

HONOLULU -

Island Air announced Tuesday that it closed the sale of the airline to a newly formed holding company owned by Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

In a press release, the company says the sale secures the future of Island Air and its employees.

"This is another major investment and commitment to Hawaii," said Paul Marinelli, vice president of Lawrence Investments, LLC.  "We understand the critical importance of transportation in an island state and we will ensure that Island Air strengthens its role, capacity and service to the people of Hawaii.  We recognize the need for providing options for travelers, and we believe Island Air has tremendous potential to deliver value to both residents and visitors."

"We are excited Mr. Ellison has acquired Island Air. He has the vision and resources to literally take Island Air to new heights," said Les Murashige, Island Air president.  "The entire Island Air team pulled together over the past year to restructure and position the company for success and this sale represents the culmination of that process.  I want to personally thank our 245 employees, the unions that represent them, and our entire management team for their efforts this past year.  And, on behalf of all of us at Island Air, we welcome Mr. Ellison and we look forward to an exciting future together."

The billionaire already bought the island of Lanai last June.

There are no planned staff changes and Island Air will continue its operations as usual while developing plans for additional planes, routes and services.  All current tickets will be honored and all Cloud9 members will retain their status and benefits.

Last month, Rep. Mele Carroll found out that Ellison could be buying Island Air.

"The possible purchase of Island Air will bring positive changes to both the airline and areas within our district. Island Air's fleet needs some updating, so I hope that Mr. Ellison will consider this in order to assure the safety of interisland passengers," said Carroll.

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