Mokulele Flight Service, Inc., doing business as Mokulele Airlines,
Inc., is an American commuter airline based in Kona on the Big
Island of Hawaii. The airline operates scheduled inter-island and
charter flights primarily among Hawaii's smaller airports.
1.1 Mokulele Flight Service and Mokulele Airlines
1.2 go! Mokulele joint venture
1.3 New Mokulele Airlines
1.4 California expansion
4 Accidents and incidents
6 External links
Mokulele Flight Service and Mokulele Airlines
The airline was founded in 1994 as Mokulele Flight Service by Rebecca
"Kawehi" Inaba, and was the first airline in Hawaii to be founded by a
Native Hawaiian woman. In 2005 it was acquired by Boyer Industries
LLC, headed by former baggage handler turned entrepreneur William
"Bill" Boyer Jr., who became the airline's CEO. The company, at
this point, had a fleet of three Piper Navajo Chieftains and was only
operating charters and sightseeing trips to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes
National Park and scenic flights around the Big Island and Maui.
In September 2006, the airline announced that it had reached an
Mesa Air Group and its go! division, whereby Mokulele
would operate Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft to Kapalua, Molokai, and
Lanai under the name go!Express. Service began with flights from
Kapalua to Honolulu, Kahului, and Kona on April 17, 2007.
Service began for flights to
Molokai on July 21, 2007 and flights to
Lanai on October 6, 2007.
In January 2008, the airline reached an agreement with Aloha Airlines
to provide cargo service to Molokai, Lanai, and Kapalua under the name
Aloha Cargo Express beginning in April using a Cessna 208
Cargomaster. Following Aloha's March 2008 bankruptcy, Boyer
indicated that he had an agreement with Aloha
CEO David Banmiller to
work with the buyer of Aloha's cargo operations to continue the
Mokulele-Aloha contract. Boyer also stated that the airline would go
ahead with cargo operations under its own name, Mokulele Air Cargo.
In October 2008, Mokulele announced that it had reached an agreement
Republic Airways Holdings to provide inter-island jet service. On
November 19, Republic's
Shuttle America began operating two Embraer
170 regional jet aircraft on flights between Honolulu, Lihue, and Kona
under the Mokulele name, with additional aircraft and destinations to
be added in 2009. As a result of Mokulele's entrance into markets
that compete directly with go!, that airline later announced that it
would end the go!Express agreement with Mokulele in April 2009.
In December 2008,
Mokulele Airlines announced partnerships with two
larger North American airlines. The first, with Alaska Airlines,
allows members of Alaska's Mileage Plan frequent flyer program to earn
and redeem miles on Mokulele flights, with a code-sharing agreement
hoped for in early 2009. The second, with WestJet Airlines,
provides access to Mokulele's inter-island flights to WestJet's
customers, including sightseeing air tours. Each airline was to
promote the other on their respective websites.
After running into financial difficulties earlier in the year, the
airline announced in March 2009 that Republic had taken a 50% stake in
the company. Boyer relinquished the
CEO position to Republic vice
president Scott Durgin, moving to head the airline's sales and
marketing efforts. Republic also assumed control of the Cessna Grand
Caravan aircraft operated by Mokulele. A few days later, Mesa
announced that the change of
CEO allows the airline to terminate its
agreement with Mokulele early, and would terminate the agreement
effective March 24, 2009 and nullifying Mokulele agreement to operate
Caravans as "go! express."
go! Mokulele joint venture
In October 2009, Mokulele announced that it was going to join go! and
become go! Mokulele. Peter Forman, an airline historian, said
that the merger would cause air fares in Hawaii to increase, since go!
and Mokulele no longer compete with one another. The merger
agreement includes a joint venture, with 75% of the joint venture
owned by Mesa and 25% owned by Mokulele shareholders.
New Mokulele Airlines
In November 2011,
Mesa Air Group announced that it had sold the go!
Mokulele turboprop operation, operated by Mokulele Airlines, to
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Transpac Aviation Inc. go!Mokulele's
turboprop services continued to be operated by Mokulele under a code
share agreement. On Friday, December 9, Mokulele grounded its
fleet in conjunction with an internal record-keeping audit. Flights
resumed the following Monday.
In December 2011, the airline unveiled plans to begin operating a
charter service from Honolulu to
Rockford, Illinois and London. When
the service was approved by the
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Transportation the
following month, the schedule showed a Boeing 767-200ER leased from
Air Transport International
Air Transport International would operate the flights, with the
Honolulu to Rockford segment beginning on April 13, 2012, and the
London segment starting May 4. On April 8, the airline
delayed the start of service until at least October. In early
Mesa Air Group announced it would rebrand its jets operations
back to the go! name as the name go!Mokulele and Mokulele was causing
some brand confusion among the two companies. The airline also
abandoned its non-turboprop charter plans so it could focus on service
in the isles.
Original logo used from 1998-2012
Logo briefly used from 2012-2013
Logo used from 2013-2016
In April 2012, the airline started operating daily service between
Maui and Lanai. In July 2012, the airline returned to Kapalua
Airport in West Maui, with flights from Honolulu to Kapalua twice per
In October 2012, the airline brought a new city to the network, Hana,
located on the far east side of Maui. The flights operate twice a day
under a partnership with the owners of the resort in Hana. The airline
also outsourced eight flights a day to Schuman Aviation - Makani Kai,
to bring additional frequencies on the
Maui - Kona route, bringing the
total daily flights to fifteen on peak days, each way. When Island Air
announced plans to retire their fleet of Dash 8 aircraft, Mokulele
jumped on the opportunity and ordered additional Caravans to fill the
gap. Mokulele presently flies 8 to 9 flights a day between West
Maui and Honolulu, as well as 2 new flights linking West
Maui to Kona,
and a flight for tour operators to Hana, allowing customers on the
"Road to Hana" tour to fly back to West
Maui rather than drive.
Passengers who flew to Hana can then drive back on the tour.
On May 23, 2013, the airline bid on Essential Air Service to
Kamuela/Waimea, Hawai'i. The airline has proposed 2 flights a day to
Honolulu for an annual subsidy of $584,000 compared to over $900,000
bid by Makani Kai. The airline is hoping to secure a 4-year contract
and has proposed decreasing subsidies for each year of service. The US
DOT awarded the route to Mokulele on July 2, 2013 with flights to
Kahului expected to start in late summer.
Kamuela services started on time and with a completely full flight on
September 21. The current plans of the airline are to continue
phasing out the older Cessna Grand Caravan 208B aircraft with new,
factory delivered Cessna Caravans.
Mokulele Airlines is the largest
passenger operator of the Cessna Grand Caravan 208EX, offering higher
payload and a brand new Garmin 1000 "glass cockpit" software suite.
In March 2014,
Mesa Airlines announced the shut down of its go!
division in Hawai'i - ending the codeshare relationship between Mesa
and Mokulele, allowing the airline to now operate additional flights
that were previously prohibited by the codeshare agreement. On April
11, 2014, Mokulele began commuter flights linking Honolulu and Kahului
Airport in Maui. The airline also began working with Hawai'i
Department of Transportation and
Oahu County officials on linking
Kahului and Barbers Point/Kalaeloa/John Rodgers Field in West Oahu,
and on May 13, 2014 confirmed that flights would begin on July
In April 2014, the airline operated 117 inter-island flights a day.
Starting in February 2015,
Mokulele Airlines has entered into a
one-year wet-lease agreement with Sun Air to provide up to 4 aircraft
and crews for Sun Air's EAS Pittsburgh flying.
In May 2015, Mokulele and officials publicly announced plans to launch
new service in Florida scheduled to begin on November 15, 2015; but it
withdrew its plans, claiming that it needed more time to conduct
research and that it had been threatened by competitor Silver
On November 26, 2015,
Mokulele Airlines changed its ICAO code to MHO,
and its callsign to "Mahalo" for its Hawai‘i flight operations. 2016
also saw the company start a brand-refresh and new services in
In February 2016,
Mokulele Airlines re-applied for Essential Air
Service subsidy for
Imperial County Airport
Imperial County Airport and Visalia Municipal
SeaPort Airlines terminated service in late January.
Imperial County selected Mokulele, but Visalia voted instead to shift
from EAS to request $3.7 million from the Community Flexibility Pilot
Program, which pays cities to forego subsidized air service for 10
years in favor of a direct payment of two years’ worth of
subsidies. Officials expressed concern over low ridership and
a pilot shortage, and Mokulele proposed using the same type of
SeaPort Airlines flew.
In March 2016, the airline announced that it was considering serving
Visalia without a subsidy, but did not pursue. The airline's
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport from Imperial County
Airport began on May 23 and from
Santa Maria Public Airport
Santa Maria Public Airport on October
10, 2016; with
Inyokern Airport scheduled for early 2017.
As of May 2016, the
Mokulele Airlines fleet includes the following
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Aircraft presently operate out of Pittsburgh for Sun Air
Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan
The airline has been phasing out all older Cessna Grand Caravan 208B
aircraft in favor of new, factory-built aircraft that have the updated
glass cockpits. Mokulele has placed the standard
Cessna 208 aircraft
on the mainland, with 3 operating on behalf of Sun Air International
out of Pittsburgh. The
Embraer 170 regional jet aircraft operated by
Shuttle America have since been returned to the mainland.
Mokulele Airlines operates flights to the following destinations
within the state of Hawaii:
Kona International Airport
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
Lanai City, Hawaii
Mokulele Airlines also operate between the following destinations
Imperial County Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Accidents and incidents
On October 21, 2013, Mokulele Flight 1770 made an emergency landing on
the Piilani Highway on
Maui after its engine failed while en route
Kahului Airport to
Waimea-Kohala Airport on Hawaii. There were no
injuries. The aircraft was moved to a parking lot adjacent to the
highway during the NTSB investigation and was later dismantled.
^ "Contract of Carriage Archived 2012-11-30 at WebCite." (Archive)
Mokulele Airlines. Retrieved on November 29, 2012.
^ "Contract of Carriage." Mokulele Airlines. Retrieved on February 23,
^ Gillie, John (2006-09-27). "Laid-off worker strikes isle airline
deal". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved
^ "go! and
Mokulele Airlines Establish Code Share Agreement" (Press
release). Mesa Air Group. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2006-10-11.
^ "go!Express launches". Pacific Business News. 2007-04-18. Retrieved
^ Segal, Dave (2008-01-29). "Deal expands air cargo options". Honolulu
Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
^ Segal, Dave (2008-04-25). "Mokulele goes ahead with cargo
expansion". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
^ Sudick, Jennifer (2008-10-16). "Mokulele expands in isle market".
Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
^ Segal, Dave (2009-01-13). "Go! cuts quarterly loss for third time".
Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
^ Consillio, Kristen (2008-12-05). "Mokulele offering deals for travel
between isles". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
^ "WestJet, Mokulele announce partnership". Pacific Business News.
2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
^ Segal, David (2009-03-20). "Mokulele gets cash, new CEO". Honolulu
Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
^ Segal, Dave (2009-03-23). "Mesa ends deal with Mokulele". Honolulu
Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
^ Gomes, Andrew. "Delays mar first post-merger day for go! Mokulele
The Honolulu Advertiser at USA Today. October 16, 2009.
Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
^ Song, Jaymes. "Mokulele, go! airlines merge." Associated Press.
October 14, 2009. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
^ David, Mari-Ela. "Airline expert expects fares to go up in Mokulele
and go! merger." KHNL. October 14, 2009. Updated October 15, 2009.
Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
^ "Mesa's go!, Republic's Mokulele form Hawaiian joint venture." ATW
Daily News. Thursday October 15, 2009. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
Mesa Air Group sells Hawaii turboprop service". Pacific Business
News. Honolulu. November 15, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
^ "Mokulele resumes interisland turboprop flights". Pacific Business
News. December 12, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
^ Leaf, Brian (January 23, 2012). "Feds OK Rockford airport's charters
to London, Hawaii". The Rockford Register Star. Retrieved January 24,
^ Leaf, Brian (April 8, 2012). "Rockford airport's flights to London,
Hawaii put on hold". The Rockford Register Star. Retrieved April 9,
^ "April News and Discounts – Kahului
Lanai starting at $42.49, 25%
Keiki discount for travel in April" (Press release). Mokulele
Airlines. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
Mokulele Airlines returns to Kapalua and West Maui, flights start
July 1" (Press release). Mokulele Airlines. Retrieved July 22,
Mokulele Airlines to boost service to Maui's Kapalua
Mokulele Airlines to start Kona-Kapalua flights".
Mokulele Airlines begins flights to Waimea". Hawaii News Now.
September 21, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
^ Thomaselli, Rich (April 15, 2014). "Shutdown of Go! Airlines
Creating Turbulence in Hawaii". TravelPulse. Retrieved April 24,
^ Segal, Dave (April 20, 2014). "Mokulele aims for July 1 to start
Kalaeloa flights". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved April 24,
^ Segal, Dave (May 13, 2014). "Tickets go on sale for Mokulele's
Kalaeloa Airport service". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 16 May
^  Potential Airline says Aloha!
^ "Delayed arrival KeysNews.com". keysnews.com. Retrieved
^ "EL CENTRO: Council sticks with Mokulele, moving forward with
Imperial Valley Press Online. Retrieved
^ Maldonado, Tony; Vigran, Nancy. "Visalia Council Votes In Favor of
Shifting Airport Toward Cargo, Private Aviation". Valley Voice.
^ Vigran, Nancy. "Destiny of Visalia Airport Put on Hold for Two
Weeks". Valley Voice. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
^ Vigran, Nancy. "Council Votes to End Air Service Subsidies, Airline
Still Interested". Valley Voice. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
^ Delgado, Edwin (April 9, 2016). "Mokulele ready to bring Essential
Air Service to the mainland". Imperial Valley Press. Retrieved April
^ "IYK moves forward in restoring air service". The News Review -
Ridgecrest CA. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
^ Silvertsein, Stephanie (June 10, 2013). "
Mokulele Airlines expanding
Hawaii interisland fleet". Pacific Business News. Retrieved June 11,
^ "Mokulele's Kahului to Hana inaugural flight took off Monday".
KHON-TV. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
^ "Mokulele to start flights from Honolulu to Kapalua, Maui, in July".
Pacific Business News. May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
^ Kakesako, Gregg (October 22, 2013). "FAA probes plane's emergency
Maui highway". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved
^ "Crashed Plane returns to hanger". KAOI 1110 AM. October 28, 2013.
Segal, Dave (2006-09-14). "Isle air wars intensify". Honolulu
Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2006-10-13.
Segal, Dave (2007-01-26). "Mesa's delays plan to swap its fleet for
larger aircraft". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
"go!Express launches". Pacific Business News. 2007-04-18. Retrieved
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mokulele Airlines.
Television interview with Mokulele Air Owner Bill Boyer, 1/24/2008
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