Mokulele Airlines explains decision to end flights out of Kalaeloa Airport

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After two years of service, Mokulele Airlines is stopping flights at Kalealoa Airport.

In 2014, Mokulele became the first and only commercial airline to offer service out of the West Oahu airport.

Now we’ve learned the company quietly stopped flying out of that location about three weeks ago.

We asked Rob McKinney, president of Mokulele, why those flights were discontinued. He says it came down to simple economics, and the route between Kalaeloa and Maui was just not working.

“(The decision was) in response to us taking a hard look at limited resources that we have and always wanting to apply those resources to the highest and best use where they serve the greatest number of people,” McKinney said. “After serving the Kalealoa Airport for two years, it still was not producing the same results as some of our other routes do.”

Mokulele has 11 planes, each with nine seats for passengers. McKinney says resources will be redistributed among its remaining routes, which includes Kona, Hana, Kahului, Kapalua, Molokai, and Honolulu International Airport.

“What we are going to do is increase frequency into some of the other routes that we have so you’ll see us more times a day in the same city,” he said. “You will see more routes out of Honolulu International Airport, out of Kahului and Kona, but what those combinations exactly are yet, I don’t know.”

McKinney says landing fees and expenses did not play a role in the decision, and Mokulele didn’t notify the state, which owns Kalaeloa.

The airline also flies between Imperial County Airport, Santa Maria, and Los Angeles in California.

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