Posted on: 26 June 2014 by Mark Howells
Mokulele Airlines is expanding its service between Kamuela-Waimea on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui, by adding a third daily roundtrip flight to meet growing demand.
Mokulele began offering service from Kamuela in September 2013 after being awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract from the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
“Since winning the award, we’ve focused on delivering low-fare, high-quality flights to the community by working directly with those who would use our service, and our boardings have reflected that,” explained Mokulele’s president and CEO Ron Hansen.
Since Mokulele initiated the service, air traffic has grown more in Kamuela than in any other EAS market in the past two years. Mokulele expects to fly over 12,000 passengers in its first year of operation from Kamuela, compared with approximately 50 flown by the previous operator over a similar time period.
Mokulele will now offer 42 weekly flights between the two destinations, only 24 of which are subsidised by the EAS programme. “The EAS programme can truly help small communities when partnered with the right operator,” Hansen added. “Because of the EAS programme, we're now able to increase flights, and hopefully grow Kamuela off the EAS subsidy programme by the end of our four-year agreement. We’re doing whatever it takes to build traffic to the point the market is 100% self-sustaining and no longer dependent on federal dollars.”
With the new flights, passengers can depart from Kahului at 08:35 and arrive in Kamuela at 09:20. Maui-bound passengers can depart Kamuela at 09:40 and arrive in Kahului at 10:25.