It's a new day and a new beginning for Island Air as the first of its new fleet of aircraft now call Hawaii home. The Q400 Bombardier turboprop named "Ola Kupono" - meaning safety in everything we do - is just part of the airline carrier's "revitilization" currently underway.
A blessing event and namimg ceremony held off of Lagoon Drive gave honored guests, media, lawmakers and others a chance to get up-close and personal with the new aircraft. The turboprop plane has many advantages when compared to the previous fleet: maximum cruise speed 414 mph, maximum operating altitude 27,000 feet, seating capacity 78 people, it also uses 30% less fuel, travels 30% faster than conventional turboprops and features a specialty Active Noise Vibration Suppression system, meaning it's not as loud than other prop planes.
In the coming months, you will see at least three additional new planes set into motion here in the state. Island Air currently has approval to bring a maximum of 10 new planes to Hawaii. While increasing frequency, expanding their current routes and sights set on continuing to grow in the islands remains a top priority.
The new state-of-the-art planes are more comfortable, less noisy, brand new and have that new car/plane smell. Flight attendants, ground crew and pilots all appeared very excited by the new addition. It's hoped the brand new Q400 Bombardiers (leased by Elix Aviation Capital Limited) will eventually replace all of the fleet eventually. Starting today (Jan12) this new plane will transport families, visitors and friends from Honolulu to Kahului seven roundtrips daily. As the routes continue to increase flights from Honolulu to Kona will also bump up from five to six roundtrips and expansion sights are set on Hilo in the not-too-distant future as well.