Air Larry: Oracle CEO Buys Airline Serving Lanai

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Larry Ellison, the cerebral CEO of Oracle Corporation who last June purchased 98 percent of Lanai has now bought Island Air, a regional carrier serving all major Hawaiian islands.

It’s never easy being Larry Ellison. Forbes says his $41 billion makes him only the third-richest man in America. Imagine the heartburn that generates.

Ellison’s mother put him up for adoption. He twice dropped out of college. Married and divorced four times. And now he buys a puddle-jumper airline. (He already owns two fighter jets: a SIAI-Marchetti S.211, used by the Italian Air Force, and a decommissioned MiG-29 that the U.S. government won’t let him fly.)

So now he’s got to run an airline while promising to improve flight connections from Honolulu for Lanai residents and tourists. Ellison’s tourists. When he reached for the check on Lanai (probably more than $500 million), two top-shelf Four Seasons Resorts and two golf courses were part of the pineapple plantation.

Given Ellison’s monomaniac interest in Lanai (and now that he owns the airline), he’s planning on building a third hotel on Lanai. Bungalow-style with its own airport on a dolled up leeward side of Hawaii’s sixth largest island.

He told CNN he envisions Lanai becoming a “laboratory” for living with the environment, like “electric cars and converting sea water to fresh water.” He also wants to keep exporting pineapples.

No, it’s never easy being Larry Ellison.

Island Air operates scheduled inter-island passenger service between Honolulu International Airport and Kahului and Kapalua airports on Maui, as well as Lihue on Kauai, Kona on the Big Island, Molokai and Lanai. They maintain code sharing and frequent flyer agreements with Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines, and operate their own frequent flyer program, Cloud 9.

Island Air has 245 employees, 224 weekly flights on three turboprop planes (a French-Italian built ATR 72 – 212 series is the latest addition to their Dash 8 – 100 and 200).

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Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • UncleDude at 11:06am March 21, 2013

    Hope he did it before the recent Oracle Financial Figures were announced.

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