by: Joann Shin
(KHNL) - It may look like it's business as usual at Island Air, but big changes are on the horizon.
Island Air CEO Rob Mauracher announced, "Approximately 65 full-time employees from all departments, including management, are either being furloughed or laid off."
Mauracher said, "It is no secret that the market has become unstable with the addition of go!"
But Joe Bock, Chief Marketing Officer for go! says all airlines are facing tough competition.
He explained, "We have our $39 fares and Hawaiian and Aloha match and we're all competing to impress our passengers and provide great service."
Other changes include dropping two planes and eliminating 5 routes.
Rhoda Smith from Molokai prefers Island Air.
But she says limited flight options have forced her to go elsewhere.
Smith said, "If they open up more Island Air flights for people like us, we just go direct, stay on Island air all the way. We wouldn't have to catch go!"
Cerisa Manoa says low airfares have allowed her family to finally travel.
She said, "I 100% support the local groups and everything, but if it's not going to make it good for kamaaina like us, then we're going to look for something cheaper."
Mauraucher says island air needs to take these proactive measures to ensure it's here for the long haul.
A message echoed by go!