Bombardier Q400, dash-8, DHC-8-402, Q400NG, c/n 4543, C-FRZC, Island Air, WP, MKU, Ola Kupono, Bombardier Inc., BOM, BBA, First Flight, BBA22, December 9 2016, Toronto Downsview Airport, YZD, CYZD, Toronto, ON, (c) copyright Andrew H. Cline 2016, Andrew.cline@sympatico.ca, 416-209-2669, Andrew H. Cline, Andy Cline,

MIAMI — Hawaiian regional carrier Island Air is set to expand its service next May, operating as many as 476 weekly flights, nearly twice the 266 flights it currently offers.

Last December, Island Air took delivery of its first 78-seat Bombardier Q400, which entered into service with the airline on January 12.

The number of daily roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Kahului will double to 16; between Honolulu and Kona will increase from six to 10; and between Honolulu and Lihue will increase from six to eight.

The flights will gradually increase over the next four months, and will accommodate high travel days — Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

“The added flight service is in response to growing demand from our customers and travel partners and also reflects the improved operational efficiencies of the new Q400 aircraft that are being phased into our fleet,” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air.

“The entire Island Air team remains focused on enhancing the interisland travel experience for residents and visitors, which includes providing more convenient options to island hop, either for business or to enjoy a weekend getaway or visit.”

According to the airline, the new Dash 8s are 30-percent faster than conventional turboprops, resulting in shorter flight times, which enables Island Air to increase their frequencies. The carrier signed a leasing agreement with Elix Aviation Capital Limited for three of the type, intended to replace its seven 64-seat ATR72s.