Mokulele Airlines confirms layoffs to control costs

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 6:47 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Mokulele Airlines, which flies nine-passenger prop aircraft on interisland routes, confirms an approximately 10 percent reduction in staff.

“This is one of several efforts we are making to bring Mokulele to profitability,” said a memo to employees obtained by Hawaii News Now. “We can’t be here for the long term if our company continues to lose money each month.”

Company insiders said some routes had more employees than passengers, and the cutbacks could secure the jobs that remain.

The reference to other efforts is thought to refer to codeshare alliances with airlines that fly to Honolulu but not to other Hawaii airports. For them, Mokulele can provide the last connection to a neighbor island resort. The memo to employees specifically mentions “new interline agreements.”

Mokulele and its small aircraft competitor Makani Kai fill in the gaps in the Hawaii interisland route network by serving airports on Molokai, Lanai and smaller airports on other islands that do not generate enough traffic for jet service by Hawaiian Airlines or any other player.

Southern Airlines, which provides commuter flights from several cities in Mid-Atlantic and Southern states, recently acquired Mokulele Airlines, and decided to keep the local management and brand name in place.

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