How do you top buying 97 per cent of a Hawaiian island?Buy a Hawaiian airline to help people get there.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is rumoured to be buying Island Air, reports Dave Segal at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, citing two unnamed sources said to be familiar with Ellison’s plans.
Island Air is a small airline that specialises in interisland flights, including daily flights to Ellison’s island, Lanai.
The airline has confirmed a sale is in process but hasn’t announced the buyer. A PR person for the airline told the Pacific Business News that the buyer was an investment firm and hinted that Ellison was not involved.
On the other hand, the airline’s former CEO, who left the job on December 31, now works for Ellison’s Hawaiian company, Lanai Resorts, Segal reports.
So there are definitely ties between Ellison and the airline.
Owning an airline would be in character. Ellison is himself a pilot who collects planes and his son is a stunt pilot, too.
The population and tourist trade on Lanai is booming since Ellison purchased the island. The five daily ferry boats between Lanai and its closest neighbour, Maui, are packed. As the island prospers, transportation to it will become an ever bigger issue.
Oracle had no comment on Ellison’s potential purchase of Island Air.