HONOLULU — After only two years of service, Mokulele Airlines will end its service out of Kalaeloa Airport in southwest Oahu.
Big Island-based Mokulele Airlines operated its last flight out of Kalaeloa on Sept. 6, ending its four flights a day to Molokai, with a connection to Maui, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2cA4H2x).
Mokulele CEO Ron Hansen said Monday that the decision to end operations comes after two years of monthly losses.
“I don’t really have any regrets about trying to fly from there, but we lost over six figures at Kalaeloa in just over two years,” he said. “Flying around empty airplanes is not cheap.”
Hansen purchased the Kona-based carrier from go! parent Mesa Air Group Inc. in November 2011 and began service on July 1, 2014, from Kalaeloa, which was the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
“We’ve been profitable for the nearly five years since I owned the company, but Kalaeloa was lowering the profits,” Hansen said.
Mokulele still operates out of Honolulu International Airport as well as seven other airports around the state. The airline is the third-largest in Hawaii and has a fleet of nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravan turboprops.
Mokulele also began flights on the mainland in May, with service between Imperial County Airport near El Centro, California, and Los Angeles under a two-year federally subsidized Essential Air Service Contract. The airline will begin service Oct. 7 between Santa Maria, California, and Los Angeles under a community-subsidized contract.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com