Mokulele Airlines will suspend its daily flights between Hilo and Kahului beginning Aug. 1, 2023. Mokulele will redeploy those aircraft to provide additional service to Molokaʻi and to add a new evening flight between Kahului and Kona.
Passengers holding reservations after Aug. 1 will be offered refunds or will be reaccommodated by Mokulele on Hawaiian Airlines at no additional cost to the passengers.
Mokulele expanded its service between Kahului and Hilo during the COVID era to help fill the void when Hawaiian Airlines suspended their non-stop service to Kahului, according to company executives. Now that those flights have resumed post-COVID, Mokulele has seen passenger counts drop at Hilo, while it continues to work hard to fulfill peak day demand at Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Mokulele is the only airline serving Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, and while the current offerings are adequate on most days, some popular travel times could use extra flights, according to a news release.
“In so many ways, our service in the Hawaiian Islands has been about filling voids when other carriers leave, and that’s a role we are honored to fill,” said Stan Little, chairman and CEO. “Redeploying these aircraft to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi will help with that need, and it is the right thing to do. The people of Hawaiʻi can rest assured that when other voids in air service occur in the future, Mokulele Airlines will again be there to serve the need to the best of our ability. That remains our commitment.”
In addition to adding flights to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi when needed, Mokulele will add an extra evening nonstop flight between Kahului and Kona. The current schedule from other inter-island airlines have the last non-stop between Maui and Hawaiʻi Island operating before 5 p.m. Mokulele’s evening flight will be an extra non-stop offering for passengers looking for easy, same-day connections, according to the update.
“We are grateful to all the passengers who have flown with us to and from Hilo over the years, and we are especially thankful for all our colleagues – our Hilo ʻOhana – who have been part of our team for so long, “ said Keith Sisson, chief of staff at Mokulele Airlines. “All Mokulele employees at Hilo have a standing job offer at any other Mokulele station in Hawaiʻi or any other Southern Airways station on the mainland.”
Mokulele service between Kahului and Hilo will not be terminated but is being suspended. No date has been set for a return to daily service on this route.
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