Transportation

Molokai and Makani Mai Air: A Great Partnership

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Molokai and Makani Mai Air: A Great Partnership

Community Contributed

By P.J. O’Reilley

“I hate the airline industry,” is a sentiment that is generally shared by everyone in the flying public, but unusual to hear from a guy who runs an airline. But then, Richard Schuman, owner of Makani Kai Air, is an unusual person in his own right. 

“All these airfare fluctuations,” he says, “are ridiculous. The airlines are gouging people, charging more on Fridays and Sundays, when folks need to fly.” He admits that the price gyrations, which are standard operating procedure for modern airlines, are profit driven, “but to me, that’s the wrong focus. We’re focused on people’s needs.”

Makani Kai Air is the only airline in the state and perhaps the only airline in the country that charges a flat rate.…

Ferry Funding Approved

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

On June 5, the Maui County Council passed a bill to appropriate $105,000 to Sea Link of Hawaii, which operates the Molokai ferry and has reported losses in riders and funds over the past year.

With a contract still to be written for the funding, it will take about a month for Sea Link to receive the money, according to County Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen. She added they’re still in the process of deciding whether the finding will be given all at once or in increments.

Since January, the ferry has been losing an average of $20,000-$25,000 a month, according Sea Link President and Senior Captain Dave Jung.…

Mokulele to Give Passengers Lei

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Mokulele Airlines News Release

Mokulele Airlines will celebrate King Kamehameha Day by lei’ing the first 500 passengers who island hop on June 11 from all nine airport stations.

“Mokulele was founded in 1994 by a Native Hawaiian, Rebecca “Kawehi” Inaba with the goal to share the beauty of the islands with passengers,” said Ron Hansen, president and CEO of Mokulele Airlines. “Our mission to honor that passion has only magnified. That’s why we provide daily service to Hawaii’s smallest communities including Hana, Waimea and Kapalua.”

Mokulele Airlines has the newest fleet of aircrafts in the state and operates over 120 daily flights from 9 airports including – Honolulu and Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) airports on Oahu, Kapalua, Kahului and Hana airports on Maui, Kona and Waimea airport on the Big Island, Ho`olehua and Kalaupapa airports and Mokokai.…

Molokai Ferry Seeks to Run ‘As Needed’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

With competition increasing, the Molokai ferry wants to scale back further than originally planned. On May 13, Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc. withdrew its petition to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to suspend one daily route between Molokai and Maui. The company instead plans to petition the PUC to require a minimum number of passengers to make a trip between the two islands.

“The concept we’re working on now is being what’s called a common carrier versus a scheduled carrier,” said company President Dave Jung. “A scheduled carrier has to run if you’ve got one passenger. … We want to be a common carrier where we have a minimum.”

Jung said they made the decision because he felt the original petition “was gonna drag out.” In a letter to the PUC on April 14, the Division of Consumer Advocacy recommended a thorough investigation that included public hearings, which Jung felt the company didn’t have time for.…

Molokai Getaway Package

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 Makani Kai News Release

Hotel Molokai, in conjunction with Makani Kai Air and Molokai Car Rental is now offering an “Escape to Molokai” combination package. The package includes two nights’ stay at the Hotel Molokai, round trip airfare for two to Molokai from either Honolulu or Kahului, and a two-day car rental from Molokai Car Rental, all for $489, taxes and fees included.

“This combination package makes travel to our island affordable,” said Michael Drew, General Manager of Hotel Molokai. “We’re happy to do what we can to encourage Hawaii residents to come to Molokai and enjoy the open spaces and unspoiled environment.”

Although the package will be available from both Oahu and Maui, Makani Kai Air will not commence service between Molokai and Kahului until Monday, June 1.…

Committee Considers Ferry Subsidy

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Possible financial aid is in sight for the Molokai ferry, whose recent losses in ridership and funds have forced company president David Jung to consider a shutdown as early as June.

On May 15, the county’s Budget and Finance Committee will discuss a bill in which Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed a $105,000 subsidy for the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF) and apply to the 2015 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“The ferry throughout the year has seen a decrease in ridership as hard times have come to Molokai,” said Jung, testifying at the county council’s May 7 meeting.…

Makani Kai Adding Maui Routes

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Makani Kai Adding Maui Routes

Photo courtesy of Makani Kai.

Starting June 1, Makani Kai Air’s single-prop Cessnas will be heading east. The company plans to offer flights to Maui, after repeated requests from Molokai residents who enjoyed their services, said airline owner Richard Schuman.

Currently, Makani Kai operates between Ho`olehua, Kalaupapa and Honolulu. In June  the airline will add six daily round trips between Molokai and Kahului and two weekly between Kalaupapa and Kapalua, according to P.J. O’Reilley, the company’s director of sales and marketing.

Makani Kai will kick off the new routes with introductory online fares of $39  one way and $78 round trip between Maui and Molokai.…

County Passes Ferry Resolution

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

While the Maui County Council has yet to decide exactly what type of assistance to extend to Molokai’s floundering ferry system, councilmembers are nearly unanimous in their support of the ferry’s operations.

At their April 7 meeting, councilmembers passed a resolution urging Mayor Alan Arakawa to seek a subsidy for the ferry, which the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC) reports has lost both riders and funds over the past year.

Councilmember Stacy Crivello introduced the resolution, which asked the mayor to propose an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 budget to appropriate $500,000 to the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF), which, according to the resolution, currently has an estimated balance of $1 million.…

County Explores Avenues for Ferry Aid

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The Maui County Council is taking the first steps toward addressing the struggling Molokai ferry, which has seen decreases in riders and funds within the past year.

Councilmember Stacy Helm Crivello, who represents Molokai on the nine-person council, introduced a resolution last week urging Mayor Alan Arakawa to seek significant financial support for the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC), which runs the ferry service between Maui and Molokai.

The resolution requested that the mayor to propose an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget that would appropriate $500,000 to the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF), which, according to the resolution, currently has an estimated balance of $1 million.…

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

Photos by Catherine Cluett

In the face of falling ridership, the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC) is planning to suspend the Molokai Ferry’s daily round trip between Molokai and Maui, pending approval from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), according to the company’s President and Senior Captain David Jung.

“What’s happening with the ferry right now, is that we’re hemorrhaging money because of low ridership,” said Jung. “We’re trying to come up with a solution right now, but in the meantime we [plan] to cut back one trip a day. It’s better to have reduced service than no service.”

The route, which departs from Kaunakakai Harbor at 5:15 a.m.…