Mokulele Airlines Grows With Larger Twin-Engine Planes

Mokulele Airlines in Hawaii will upgauge significantly with new planes and has a new terminal at Kahului on Maui. The Hawaii interisland company, now part of Southern Airways Express, will introduce twin-engine aircraft with more than twice as many seats as before. The Beechcraft 1900D will be used for flights between Honolulu and both Molokai and Lanai, starting this fall. That is pending required approval from the USDOT and the FAA.

Their new planes pressurized, twin-engine turboprops were designed to carry 19 passengers between airports with shorter runways. Although no longer in production, the plane remains widely used by many passenger airlines; it is one of the most popular aircraft ever of its size.

In March, Mokulele Airlines unveiled a new terminal at Kahului Airport on Maui. The company also recently added 4x daily service from the new Kahului terminal to Hilo.

Mokulele will also continue to operate its fleet of 11 single-engine Cessna Grand Caravans, each of which seats 9-passengers.

Southern Express CEO Stan Little said, “This is a logical next step for our airline as we continue to rebound from the COVID pandemic and continue to show our commitment to the people of Hawaii.”

We shared what we like about Mokulele follow another recent announcement: Merger at Mokulele Airlines Offer Unique Hawaii Flightseeing.

Here is a list of the towns and islands Mokulele Hawaii serves:

Maui: Hana, Kahului and Kapalua.

Big Island: Hilo, Kamuela/Waimea, Kailua/Kona.

Oahu: Honolulu

Lanai and Molokai.

In fact, Kauai is the only island without their service at this time. Could that change with the new aircraft?

About Mokulele Airlines.

The interisland airline is based at Kona. They operate both scheduled and charter flights between Hawaii airports using Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft and soon the new Beech 1900s.

Mokulele began in 1994 and was founded by a Native Hawaiian woman, Rebecca “Kawehi” Inaba. In 2005 Bill Boyer, who worked for Alaska Airlines and was the inventor of their DigiPlayer, acquired it. In 2007, Mokulele began flying in partnership with Mesa Air. Then in 2008, it partnered with Republic Airways, at which point it took delivery of Embraer 170 jets. In 2009, Republic took 50% ownership of the company. Mokulele, at one point, even planned to acquire wide-body Boeing 767 planes and hoped to start service between Hawaii, Illinois, and London. That never happened. In 2019, Mokulele Airlines was purchased by Southern Airways Express.

About Beechcraft 1900D.

Follow an aircraft redesign from a prior model, the 1900D was introduced in 1991. It was specifically engineered to fix the low ceiling height problem of most similarly sized planes and offers what is called a “stand-up cabin.” It also features larger engines, modified propellers, a larger tail, and winglets needed to accommodate the added height. Beechcraft built 439 of its 1900D planes.

Have you flown Mokulele? Which of their destinations have the most appeal to you?


8 thoughts on “Mokulele Airlines Grows With Larger Twin-Engine Planes”

  1. We flew Mokulele from Kona to Maui and back 3 years ago. Since we didn’t have to go through security because they have their own gate we could bring in carry-on a 3 pack of Maui wine. We loved it!

  2. Love Mokulele! So fun and great service. We have flown with them on two different trips to Molokai (once from Maui and once from Honolulu). Glad they are doing well! Can’t wait to fly with them again one of these days in Hawaii.

  3. We loved flying Mokulele from Kahului to Kona a few years ago, I think when Mesa was involved. The 9 passenger plane trip was so much fun because the pilot left his door open and we flew right along the coast of Maui and then along the Big Island coast with so many great views of the scenery! Wish they flew to Kauai already, as we had to pay much more on Hawaiian to fly to Kauai this year, although it was likely because we’ll be changing islands in the middle of Memorial Day weekend. Love your great website and emails! Thank you for all your updating on the best ways to get back to Hawaii. We have been missing our annual Aloha fix.

  4. No excuse for it. Frustrated? Can’t hold your temper? Disagree with masking directions? THEN DON’T GET IN AN AIRPLANE! And put the rest of us in your way. Self-centered Idiots!

  5. I love Mokulele! I try to book my Hawaiian Airlines flights to JHM and that airport is my favorite! Mahalo Nui Loa!

      1. I miss using Kapalua Airport for my Hawaiian Airlines flights. Will the new 20 passenger Mokulele airplanes require TSA screening for travel?

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