Michael J. Hartley started his first aviation adventure in the early 70's. He started with a single engine aircraft providing tours and aircraft rentals, before he grew into Island Pacific Air. Island Pacific Air began in 1975 and operated a twin engine Cessna 402.
From that small airplane in the late 70's, the 80's had him operating the largest airplane, a Boeing 747. The Hawaii Express began in 1982 with one 747 but in 1983 closed its doors operating two DC-10's. Air Hawaii began in 1985 utilizing the same DC-10's from The Hawaii Express but it too was short lived.
Those years were difficult and probably frustrating but it set up the next venture for the Hartley's.
Cheap Tickets began in 1986 and his perseverance and hard work paid off and paid well.
Read more about the airplanes of
Hawaii Herald-Tribue 10/5/76
Mike Hartley as owner-operator of Island Pacific Air was the first to develop the hangar/office on the east ramp at the Kahului Airport. He also constructed the original hangar that was later sold to Chris Hemmeter. Chris made upscale renovations and developed the new FBO "Hemmeter Aviation" in 1985.
HDHL / Pacific Air Express Maui Flight Center 1985
Honolulu Advertiser 4/2/75
Island Pacific Air begins May 1975
Honolulu Star-Bulletin 12/15/76
The Hawaii Express begins August 1982
Air Hawaii begins November 1985
The flight attendants completing training
Founded in 1986
"Cendant said today that it will buy Cheap Ticket Inc. of Honolulu for $425 million cash."
Honolulu Advertiser 8/13/01
nothing cheap about Cheap Tickets
Michael Hartley established Koloa Aviation, LLC in 2001 to register and operate his private jet. His Gulfstream GIV was first hangared at the BIG white hangar before Castle & Cooke took ownership and continued to rent space over the years. In 2018, Koloa Aviation upgraded to a GV aircraft. As of late 2022, the venture capitalist, Greg McAdoo took possession of the GV and re-registered it as N82MF (Speedero LLC, Oregon)