HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mokulele Airlines has decided to launch scheduled flights to Maui from the Kalaeloa airport, the former Barber's Point airfield in West Oahu.
"We launch July 1st," CEO Ron Hansen told Hawaii News Now from Kailua-Kona Tuesday, "with three nonstop flights to Kahului daily."
The introductory fare is $69 through August.
Flying 13 Cessna Caravans – models 208B and 208EX – that seat nine passengers, Mokulele has an extensive schedule connecting Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui (including Kahului, Kapalua and Hana) and the Big Island (including Kona and Waimea-Kohala) but this is the first time there has been scheduled service from Kalaeloa.
At a time when more residents of other airlines commute weekly or even daily to jobs on Oahu, a 45-minute flight with someone else "driving" compares favorably to an hourlong commute on the H1.
"And that's what drew us to the conclusion that this could be a very good route for us," Hansen said.
The airline has been planning this for more than a year, at one point delaying launch while meeting with community leaders to answer their questions about the pending service.