Local Connection: Farewell, Island Air

The sudden shut down of Island Air was a Deja-vu moment for Hawaii.

The loss of Island Air was certainly not as big a blow as that of Aloha Airlines nine years ago, but it reminded us of our island state's reliance on air transportation.

That can be nerve-racking in a world where the airline industry is a private, open market business - subject to the turbulence of many factors beyond its control. Island air seemed to be well positioned as the alternative to Hawaiian for popular inter-island routes.

Apparently its efforts to expand backfired when the owners of its new aircraft ran out of patience waiting for their money. Even with what seemed like a pretty good niche - Island Air couldn't find new investors to bail them out.  And that was it.

We feel for the employees, some of whom worked for Aloha Airlines when it folded. There is no good time for something like this to happen, but the employment prospects are good right now. Ironically, other airlines are hiring.

Now we wait and see whether another local airline will step up, or whether a Mainland company - like Southwest - will take Island Airs place.

One customer said it well last week. "We love Hawaiian Airlines, but we really need to have a second choice."

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.