HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mokulele Airlines, now in its 26th year of serving the people of Hawai‘i, has released its new schedule to account for the downturn in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule, set to begin April 1st, will include 54 daily departures, which is more than any other airline in Hawaii. Despite a reduction in the number of flights, Mokulele will not eliminate service to any of its airports. The new schedule is expected to last until May 13.
Mokulele currently serves more airports in Hawai‘i than any other carrier and is the only airline serving Waimea, Hāna, and Kapalua. “Connecting passengers in smaller communities to the essential services in the larger cities is now more important than ever, “ said Kawehi Inaba, Community Relations Director for Mokulele Airlines. “Because of the efficiency of our aircraft, we are able to provide the islands with a consistent level of service that is needed for the health and safety of everyone in our community during this difficult time.”
Mokulele has begun assisting medical facilities and public safety agencies with the transportation of essential goods free of charge. Effective immediately, Mokulele is offering hospitals, doctors’ offices, and public service groups free counter-to-counter shipping of medical and cleaning supplies between our hub cities and rural communities.*
In addition, Mokulele has partnered with Hawai‘i Sea Spirits (the distillers of Ocean Vodka) to transport materials necessary to manufacture up to 2,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. Hawai‘i Sea Spirits began the bottling process last Thursday (March 26, 2020) with the goal of distributing 28,000 bottles of free hand sanitizer to local law enforcement officers, hospital and sanitation workers, transportation employees, and other essential service providers. Excess bottles will be given to the Maui Food Bank for distribution to families and individuals. “I want to personally thank Shay Smith and Bill Scott at Ocean Vodka for organizing this effort to help the community,” said Keith Sisson, Chief Marketing Officer for Mokulele. “They have engaged almost a dozen local businesses to make this happen, and we are honored to be asked to help. This will play a large role in keeping our employees and passengers safe during the COVID-19 crisis.”
For residents needing reliable and essential travel during the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, Mokulele has implemented measures intended to provide extra protection. The fleet undergoes multiple daily cleanings, passengers handle their own luggage, and waiting areas are in open-air environments. In addition, the aircraft seats are configured to provide more personal space for each passenger than those of larger aircraft.
To date, Mokulele has not laid-off or furloughed any employees in Hawaii due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the airline intends to keep flying from all its airports.