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Oracle CEO buys airline serving Hawaiian island

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AUDREY McAVOY | March 15, 2013 06:37 PM EST | AP


HONOLULU — A representative for Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison's personal investment company says the billionaire has purchased a small airline serving a Hawaiian island to improve flight connections for visitors and residents.

Ellison bought 98 percent of the land on Lanai last year. Lawrence Investments LLC Vice President Paul Marinelli said this week that the purchase of Island Air ensures an airline would continue to serve the island.

Marinelli says the danger that Island Air could go out of business pushed Ellison's company into preparing contingency plans. Another option was to sign contracts with other interisland carriers to provide flights.

The company hopes that keeping the airline would improve flight connection times from larger airports to make it easier for travelers.