Island Air recently held a blessing and naming ceremony for the first of three new Q400 turboprop airplanes it is acquiring as part of a long-term plan to upgrade its fleet and expand the company’s presence in Hawaii's inter-island market.
Island Air owners, managers and employees, along with elected officials, visitor industry partners and other special guests gathered at the Island Air hangar off Lagoon Drive to bless and dedicate the new aircraft prior to its inaugural inter-island flight.
The first Q400 aircraft is named Ola Kupono, which means “safety in everything we do.” The names of future planes will focus on other core values including genuineness, doing the right thing, accountability, striving for the highest summit, trust and persistence.
With the addition of the new aircraft, which is currently in service, Island Air will increase the number of daily roundtrips between Honolulu and Kahului from six to seven, and the number of daily roundtrips between Honolulu and Kona from five to six.
The new flight schedule also will see slight time changes in the six daily roundtrips between Honolulu and Lihue. The new flight schedule is available on Island Air’s website at www.islandair.com/flight-schedules.
Island Air plans to convert to a full fleet of new Q400 aircraft and transition its existing fleet of five ATR-72 aircraft out of service. The Q400 turboprops are being leased through leasing company Elix Aviation Capital Limited. The agreement includes three Q400 aircraft. The second Q400 is scheduled to arrive later this week, and the third is expected to be delivered in April.