Hawaiian Holdings, the parent firm of Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu), is planning to acquire the Air Carrier Certificate (ACC) of defunct operator Island Air (Hawaii) (WP, Honolulu).

Island Air suspended all operations on November 11 after lessor Elix Aviation Capital's decision to act against the carrier. The Hawaiian regional carrier's woes were precipitated by its inability to meet leasing dues on the three Dash 8-400s it had leased from Elix. As such, its previous Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was then converted into Chapter 7 liquidation.

A spokesman for the holding firm told the Associated Press this week that Hawaiian Holdings to buy the ACC would allow the firm to bring its turboprop operation - Ohana by Hawaiian - in-house. At present, Ohana by Hawaiian is merely a brand operated by Empire Airlines (EM, Coeur d'Alene) and entails three ATR42-500s, one ATR72-200, and two ATR 72-200(F)/-500(F)/-600Fs.

Alex Da Silva said the Hawaiian Holdings had formed a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Elliott Street Holdings, to acquire both Island Air's stock as well as its ACC among other assets.

If the acquisition is approved, Hawaiian Holdings would then gain oversight of 'Ohana by Hawaiian's flight and cabin crew hirings, as well as its customer service and maintenance crews (who now are all Empire employees). According to US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, though Island Air eventually transitioned to an all-Bombardier Aerospace turboprop fleet, its operations specifications still list Avions de Transport Régional equipment - five ATR72s more precisely. As such, Ohana by Hawaiian's transition to Island Air's ACC would be relatively simple.

"We believe that assuming the FAA certificate will greatly benefit our guests by improving the efficiency and reliability of 'Ohana by Hawaiian'," he said.