Larry Ellison looking to buy another airline for his tropical island

Database mogul and Hawaiian island owner Larry Ellison is in the market to purchase a second Hawaiian airline, according to reports.

Reuters reports the Oracle founder, who purchased an island-hopping carrier called Island Air in February, is in talks with Mesa Air over a possible takeover of its low-cost Hawaiian subsidiary go! Airlines.

While Pacific Business News reports a takeover deal has closed, at this stage there is no formal official confirmation of the purchase from either party.

At present, go! Airlines uses a fleet of five 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 jets to run 40 flights per day between the Hawaiian islands, which would double the fleet of five 64-seater ATR 72-212 and Bombardier Dash 8-100 jets already owned by Island Air.

The possible takeover comes after Ellison purchased the Hawaiian island of Lanai from previous owner David Murdock in June of last year for $US300 million.

Aside from potentially boosting the number of flights to Ellison’s island resorts, a takeover could put Ellison in a position to compete with Hawaiian Airlines as the state’s second carrier.

“We are committed to building a strong regional airline and part of that process is exploring all options, including discussions with Mesa Air,” Island Air chief executive Paul Casey said.

News of the possible airline takeover comes after reports surfaced late last week of an ambitious plan by Ellison to build a 50-acre tennis academy on Lanai.


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