The Channel logo


By | Simon Sharwood 28th February 2013 02:26

Larry Ellison buys airline

'Island Air' can ferry Oracle boss to private island

Oracle boss Larry Ellison's passion for investing in Hawaii has seen him acquire local airline Island Air.

Ellison last year acquired most of Hawaii's sixth-largest island, Lanai. Today he owns 98 per cent of the 141 square mile (365km2) lump of land.

Should the billionaire database guru desire to visit Lanai by air, he can now do so on flights direct from Honolulu or, if he fancies a slower journey, with a stop on Moloka'i.

Just how much Ellison paid to acquire Island Air is not known, but it could be less than the cost of a decent private jet as the company is not a titan of the skies. Last year it announced a plan to upgrade its fleet from from the turboprop DASH 8 to the turboprop ATR-42 and ATR-72, offering 40-52 and up to 78 seats respectively. Reports about the size of the company's fleet suggest it operates seven planes.

Bloomberg says none of the company's 245 staff will lose their gigs and that nothing will change at the airline.

So why has Ellison bought the company? A quick glance at available flights to Lanai suggests Ellison's new asset is one of just two carriers that fly to the island. And if one owns an island, one surely wants its value to be maintained by ensuring it is easily accessible. Throw in the fact that at 1500m Lanai's runway may be too short for Ellison's corporate jets and owning an airline that has easy access to the island looks a sensible strategy. ®

comment icon Read 27 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe