Tokuda Pledges Air Assistance

Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Tokuda Pledges Air Assistance

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Congressman Jill Tokuda, the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s Second District, is in the process of writing a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding Molokai’s airline crisis. 

“I’d like to create a thoughtful letter that really lays out the transportation crisis and vulnerability that exists,” said Tokuda. “Right now, the only constant is that it is inconsistent,” she added. 

Tokuda explained to Molokai residents gathered at her town hall meeting held at Mitchell Pauole Center last Thursday that the FAA needs data on flight delays and cancelations along with personal testimony to make a difference. 

Molokai community members related horror stories of family members passing away without loved ones and surgeries cancelled – all due to flight expense and unreliability. …

Mokulele Promises Improvements

Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Mokulele Airlines executives say better service is on the way after months of what some residents describe as a nightmare flying on the island’s only air carrier. March brought particularly frustrating experiences with extensive delays and cancellations that the airline says were due to weather and mechanical issues, leaving passengers stranded. 

Mokulele serves as a lifeline for the small community, especially when it comes to critical medical appointments and off-island work. But residents say they can no longer depend on Mokulele to get them there. 

“Whether you’re coming here [to Oahu] for a Bruno Mars concert or you’re coming here for your chemotherapy, either one, you gotta be able to depend on us to leave pretty close to the time you made that ticket — that’s where we have to get to,” said Richard Schuman, executive vice president of Mokulele and owner of the former Makani Kai Air. …

Mayor Bissen Heard Mokulele Concerns

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Molokai residents took the opportunity to air their many flight grievances and address overwhelming frustration with unreliable and expensive flights on Mokulele Airlines two weeks ago when Mayor Richard Bissen made a two-day visit to Molokai.  

A talk story event at the Mitchell Pauole Center constituted the mayor’s first stop on his Holomua Kakou initiative, with the goal of visiting towns around Maui County. 

The purpose of the trip was to run the County of Maui out of Molokai for two days, as well as field questions from Molokai residents in a communal talk story gathering. 

While reminding the Molokai community that the County government does not have input on private airlines like Mokulele, Bissen called Keith Sisson, Chief of Staff at Mokulele’s parent company Southern Airways, to have a conversation with Molokai residents. …

Molokai Flight Subsidy Proposed

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A proposed flight subsidy program for Molokai that’s currently moving through Hawaii legislature seeks to bring relief to Molokai residents who struggle with the high cost of air travel. Molokai’s Senator Lynn DeCoite proposed the bill to “assist with the cost of airfare for Molokai residents traveling inter island for essential services.”

Senate Bill 784 would require the state Dept. of Transportation to establish a one-year pilot program to provide subsidies for airlines providing service to Molokai. Since January 2021, only Mokulele Airlines flies into Molokai, and the bill seeks to not only lower ticket prices for residents but also incentivize other airlines to serve the island. …

E-Bike Business Debuts

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

E-Bike Business Debuts

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter 

Molokai has its first electric bike rental business, recently launched by Glenn Poller. 

Through Molokai E-Bike Rental, Poller is currently renting out five e-bikes. Electric bikes use a small battery-powered motor to assist when pedaling. Riders can choose between pedaling with engine assistance or just using the throttle, depending on how reliant they want to be on the bike’s 750-watt electric engine. 

Poller’s bikes are loaded up with puncture resistant tires, shock absorbers and lights, and come with a helmet, rear storage bags and lock. The e-bikes cover a range of 60-80 miles and top out at about 25 mph, he said. …

MEO Helps Students Get to School

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

MEO Helps Students Get to School

MEO News Release

Maui Economic Opportunity on Molokai has stepped in to offer transportation services to youths who could not be accommodated by the public school bus service.

The state Department of Education sent out an email to families last week indicating that about 17 students on two central Kaunakakai routes were being put on a waitlist for rides on the school bus due to a driver shortage.

To fill the gap, MEO Transportation on Molokai will accommodate students on its 9 a.m. rural shuttle from the Mitchell Pauole Center, which should arrive at Molokai High in time for the 9:30 a.m.…

New Plane Here, Limited Booking Available

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

New Plane Here, Limited Booking Available

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Mokulele’s new 30-seat plane made its first landing with passengers on Molokai last week Thursday, and limited booking online is currently available at Jettly

The twin turboprop Saab 340, operated under Mokulele’s parent company Southern Airways, is the first of two larger aircraft the company is bringing in to primarily serve Molokai and Lanai. Mokulele Chief of Staff Keith Sisson said the second plane will mainly be a reserve aircraft but on special occasions, both may be on the flight line at the same time. 

“We are not going to publish a full schedule until the reserve plane arrives in September,” said Sisson.…

New Plane is Almost Here

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

New Plane is Almost Here

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A larger plane is on its way to expand Mokulele’s fleet for Molokai passengers. The first of two twin turboprop aircraft, the 30-seat Saab 340, arrived in Hawaii last week. The new plane, being flown under Mokulele’s parent company, Southern Airways, may be making its first landings on Molokai as soon as next week, Richard Schuman, Mokulele’s executive vice president, shared on social media. But that will be during a training phase — tickets are expected to be available starting at the end of the month. 

The plane, brought on board by the company specifically to serve Molokai, will more easily accommodate wheelchair-bound residents and passengers of size.…

Larger Planes Still Coming to Mokulele

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Larger Planes Still Coming to Mokulele

Mokulele’s promised larger aircraft are still on their way to Molokai, just later than planned. The first of two twin turboprop aircraft is currently being repainted by an aircraft maintenance company, said Richard Schuman, executive vice president of Mokulele Hawaii. The 30-seat Saab 340 planes – brought on board by the company specifically to serve Molokai – will more easily accommodate wheelchair-bound residents and passengers of size.

The aircraft’s arrival has been delayed from the originally announced estimate of last fall. More recently, Mokulele said it was coming in January. Now, Schuman estimates it will be flying before the summer but doesn’t want to disappoint again.…

Kalaupapa Barge Day

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Kalaupapa Barge Day

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Kalaupapa’s once a year barge arrived at the peninsula on Saturday, Sept. 11 bringing nonperishable food, gas, equipment, building supplies, vehicles and other essentials to the remote settlement. Rose Hartman captured this photo of the barge’s approach to Kalaupapa along the cliffs on her flight from Honolulu to Molokai via Kalaupapa. …