Inter Island Airways, a privately owned company, was established in August 1993 as an FAA Part 135 On-Demand Air Taxi Carrier. Inter Island Airways received its air carrier certificate in September 1995 and began providing domestic passenger and cargo air service between Pago Pago (Tutuila Island), and Tau (in the Manu'a Islands). The airline initiated on-demand passenger service with two 9-seater Aero Commander aircraft.
The airline suspended air operations in late 1997 to focus its attention on expanding its facilities, and acquiring a modern aircraft fleet starting with a new STOL type 19-seater Dornier 228-212 aircraft in April 1998.
In November 2003, Inter Island Airways restarted flight operations when Samoa Air suspended airline operations in September of the same year due to financial difficulties. The airline provided domestic cargo and on-demand charter passenger service between Pago Pago and Tau.
In January 2005, Inter Island Airways re-obtained its own Part 135 air carrier certificate and began expanding internationally, beginning on-demand passenger air charter service between Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa in June 2005. In July 2007, Inter Island Airways received Commuter Air Carrier Authorization.
Inter Island Airways expanded its fleet in February 2005 with the acquisition of a 9-seater Britten-Norman Islander BN2B-26. In December 2006, an additional 19-seater Dornier 228-212 aircraft was acquired.