Regional News Update: IslandAir returns EAS award
Hawaiian de Havilland Dash 8 operator IslandAir withdrew from a newly awarded Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to serve four mainland communities from Kansas City last month after deeming its plans to start operations in September “unrealistic” due to rising fuel costs and a shortage of trained personnel. The Honolulu-based regional in March bid for Joplin, Mo.; Grand Island, Neb.; and Harrison and Hot Springs, Ark.; but by the time the DOT awarded the routes in May, Aloha Airlines and ATA had both gone out of business, opening opportunities in IslandAir’s local market. IslandAir subsequently added four more routes to its inter-island schedule.