Mainland partnership boosts Mokulele Airlines - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mainland partnership boosts Mokulele Airlines

Bill Boyer Bill Boyer
Warren Wilkinson Warren Wilkinson

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - About six months ago, news of Aloha Airlines shutting down service hit the area hard, displacing almost 2,000 workers, but finally some good news is headed their way.

Mokulele Airlines' expansion is what the company calls the right deal at the right time.  Despite a turbulent economy, officials say the demand is there.

Tough times call for strategic measures.

"It's a great day for anyone who depends on competitive, dependable, inter-island travel," said Bill Boyer, president and CEO of Mokulele Airlines.

Landing a brand new $150 million partnership with Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, Mokulele Airlines is on a mission to soar past these tough travel times.

"When Aloha Airlines left the market, it left a hole in the amount of seats," said Boyer. "There is still evidence that we see, there's not enough seats."

The four new 70-seat jets will offer service between Honolulu, Kona and Lihue and add about 400 jobs, the majority of them local. Republic airways will operate, maintain and dispatch the new aircrafts.

"Mokulele will be responsible for marketing the product, selling the product and scheduling the product," said Warren Wilkinson, vice president of Republic Airways.

Mokulele currently has a fleet of smaller Cessna planes, operating 56 daily departures to seven cities across the state, but the company says expect the best with this aviation upgrade.

"Times have changed,' said Boyer.  "We have better equipment, newer technology and I've done a lot of my homework. I've had a lot of advice."

With their sights set on success, this announcement is aimed at helping travelers and this Hawaii airliner hit the runway running.

The first flight takes off next month, but for many the highlight of Wednesday's announcement is that about half the new jobs will be filled by former Aloha Airlines workers.

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