Molokai Holokai Goes Virtual

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Molokai Holokai Goes Virtual

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Like every other sporting event last year, COVID-19 cancelled the annual 2020 Molokai Holokai, a paddling competition of friendly fun for locals as well as acclaimed paddlers and stand up paddlers of all ages. The pandemic also cancelled this summer’s event due to state rules and restrictions, said organizer Clare Albino. But then she decided to try something different – a virtual competition.

“Participants can make their own course in any place, anywhere in the world to make their distances and even break it down in stages and or days,” said Albino, explaining participants upload pictures and times to a virtual leader board, allowing the event to continue during a window that’s open right now.…

Interisland Travel Now Unrestricted

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

For the first time in months, there are no Safe Travels screeners greeting arrivals to the Molokai Airport. Travelers may come and go interisland freely without going through a litany of testing, quarantine procedures, forms, QR codes and other protocols, as of June 15. The ending of regulations for travel within Hawaii marks one of several to the Emergency Revised Rules the governor made last week.

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated in the state of Hawaii are also no longer required to do a pre-travel test when traveling from the U.S. mainland. However, visitors from the continental U.S.…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Not Returning

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Not Returning

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

‘Ohana by Hawaiian, which had temporarily suspended flights to Molokai in January, announced it is permanently closing operations. The passenger service previously offered flights between Honolulu and Molokai and Lanai, as well as cargo service.

Hawaiian Airlines cited a severe decline in travel demand from the COVID-19 pandemic and state and county quarantine measures triggering a labor provision that led to the temporary suspension of passenger and cargo flights early this year. Hawaiian representatives said the company decided to permanently end service following an in-depth assessment of the overall operation and its long-term viability.

“This is a heartbreaking decision, particularly for those of us who were involved in launching the business in 2014,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines.…

19-Person Plane Starting Service This Fall

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

19-Person Plane Starting Service This Fall

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Come this fall, a larger plane will once again be servicing Molokai travelers. Mokulele’s parent company, Southern Airways, will be bringing in a 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900 aircraft to offer two roundtrips to Honolulu from Molokai and Lanai most weekdays initially, the airline announced.

Tickets will be available starting this summer to begin service in the fall, pending the approval of the Dept. of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration.

The pressurized, twin-engine turboprop aircraft will allow kupuna and those with limited mobility greater ease in boarding and moving in the cabin, said Mokulele Chief Marketing Officer Keith Sisson.…

MEO Rides for Maunaloa Post Office Customers

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

MEO News Release

The temporary closure of the Maunaloa Post Office prompted Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) to establish bus runs to help Molokai West End residents collect their mail from the Ho’olehua Post Office.

The U.S. Postal Service announced the temporary closure of the post office at 2 Maunaloa Road, Building 2, due to structural and vector control issues on Feb. 24. The leased structure, which had been open weekdays, houses post office boxes for about 240 customers; the post office does not offer street mail delivery, USPS said in a news release.

Maunaloa Post Office mail can be picked up at the back door of the Ho’olehua Post Office, 69-2 Puupeelua Ave.…

No Passenger Weight Limit for Mokulele

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Mokulele Airlines, the only air carrier left serving Molokai, has removed their weight limit for passengers, when previously, those weighing more than 400 pounds were restricted from flying on their aircraft.

“In response to the need to fly passengers-of-size, Mokulele has worked with engineers to provide a special double-seat, capable of carrying a passenger weighing over 400 pounds,” stated in the airline in a press release last week. “The seat is twice the size of normal seats and will be installed prior to each flight on an as-needed basis.”

Passengers weighing more than 400 pounds must travel on flights prior to 8 a.m.…

Mahalo Mokulele

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Kalaupapa Airport has been like a gathering place for many of us over the years. Then once this COVID struck our islands with such devastation, all this has changed and necessary restrictions by the Dept. of Health have prevented us from gathering there. That all changed on Saturday morning, Jan. 16, 2021, although only for a brief time, when we gathered in our masks at Terminal 1 to await the return of Boogie to our little township. After a brief delay, Mokulele’s flight touched down and taxied to a halt. A cheer went up as Boogie was taken from the plane and wheeled into the terminal in his wheelchair.…

Bringing Boogie Home

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

It is with deep gratitude that we send this huge mahalo nui to Mokulele Air for going out of their way to help the patients in Kalaupapa. They have made special trips to deliver food, supplies and patients. Boogie was able to return to his home in Kalaupapa last week. Even in his weakened physical state, it was obvious that his spirits were high. Words cannot express the deep joy and fondness that filled us as his flight landed and he emerged. Boogie “rode around” in his wheelchair to familiar places in the settlement, enjoying the crashing of the ocean, the beauties of the aina and meeting of friends along the way.…

‘Ohana’s Last Flight

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

‘Ohana’s Last Flight

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

It was a heartfelt farewell for ‘Ohana by Hawaiian last Thursday at Molokai’s airport as the airline departed on what may be its final flight from Molokai. Kupuna in wheelchairs held signs begging the airline to continue flying, while crew and Molokai ‘Ohana employees hugged and the airport fire department showered the plane with an arch of water as it taxied away.

The airline first announced last October it would suspend service to Molokai and Lanai on Nov. 1 after low travel demand caused by the pandemic “triggered a labor provision in Hawaiian’s pilot contract affecting the carrier’s ability to provide ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service.”…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Halts Flights

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

‘Ohana by Hawaiian air service will indefinitely suspend flights to Molokai and Lanai on Jan. 14, the airline told employees in a letter from a company official last week. The move leaves Mokulele Airlines as the sole air carrier serving Molokai.

“Our low levels of inter-island flying, caused by depressed demand across our network due to travel restrictions, triggered a provision in our labor contracts that prevents us from offering this third-party passenger and all-cargo service,” wrote Executive Vice President and COO Jon Snook in the letter that employees received last Wednesday, Jan. 6.

In October, the airline announced it would suspend flights on Nov.…