The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has given Ohana Airlines Holdings, LLC (OAH) the go-ahead to sell a controlling interest in Hawai'i Island Air, Inc. (Island Air (Hawaii) (WP, Honolulu)) to PacifiCap, a Hawaii-based venture capital firm managed by PaCap Aviation Finance, LLC and Malama Investments, LLC.

Under the terms of the deal, OAH, owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison, will retain a non-controlling interest in Island Air and will continue to partner with the new local owners as they move forward with a local management team tapped to oversee the airline’s expansion plans.

Dave Pflieger, who joined Island Air as CEO in 2014 and presided over its successful restructuring and turnaround efforts, will turn the reins back over to Les Murashige, who will become President and CEO, effective February 8.

Murashige was airline president from 2012 to 2013 and has been serving on the airline’s transition team. Other members of the incoming management team include Chief Commercial Officer David Uchiyama, a veteran Hawai‘i sales, marketing and visitor industry executive, and Chief Operating Officer Rob Mauracher, an airline executive who previously lived in Hawai‘i and served as CEO of Island Air from 2004 to 2007.

“This acquisition and recapitalization was facilitated by the outstanding work of Dave and the entire Island Air team. We are incredibly appreciative of Dave’s leadership and the operational improvements he and the team were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We now look forward to taking the airline to greater heights,” Murashige said.

The airline has already announced plans to acquire additional ATR72 aircraft and, effective January 21, 2016, announced it would restore service to Lihue Airport with six daily return flights to Honolulu, effective March 15, 2016.