Interisland Travel Quarantine in Effect Again

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

With numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the state continuing to skyrocket, a partial interisland travel quarantine was reinstated by Gov. David Ige last week, effective Tuesday, Aug. 11. The mandatory 14-day quarantine affects Molokai residents traveling anywhere in the state except Oahu. If you’re flying into Honolulu, you don’t have to quarantine, but upon your return to Molokai, the 14-day quarantine would be required.

“With Oahu’s 200 new cases reported today and 1,618 active cases statewide, reinstituting the interisland quarantine was necessary to protect our community and healthcare system,” Mayor Michael Victorino said last Friday. “I also want to let our residents know that we are discouraging any non-essential travel, but we understand if you need to travel for work or medical care.”…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Offers Free Food Transport

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Offers Free Food Transport

Hawaiian Airlines News Release

When Kristina Gomez learned her elderly parents on Molokai were impacted by the abrupt closure of a main grocery store in the town of Kaunakakai due to COVID-19 cases, she wanted to find a way to help. A Hawaiian Airlines guest service agent in Honolulu, Gomez reached out to our leadership team late last week, suggesting we set up a transportation service between Oahu and Molokai to assist the rural island’s residents.

Teams with Hawaiian Air Cargo and ‘Ohana by Hawaiian – our turboprop operations offering passenger service to Molokai – worked through the weekend discussing requirements of the proposed service, consulting with local government officials, and obtaining necessary TSA approvals.…

Battle of the Airlines

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


It’s a battle of the airlines to the tiny settlement of Kalaupapa, with two companies vying for the ridership of residents. In a drama that will play out in the coming weeks, both Makani Kai Air and Mokulele Airlines are now flying into the peninsula.

In March, Mokulele Airlines was selected to service the settlement under the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program beginning June 1, but without the federal subsidy that normally offsets the cost of flying into remote locations that otherwise might not get air service. Makani Kai has been serving Kalaupapa under the EAS since 2011, also applied to renew its EAS contract, requesting about $700,000 annually.…

Mokulele Selected to Serve Kalaupapa

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Mokulele Airlines has been selected to fly into Kalaupapa under the federal Essential Air Service program without subsidized funding, despite concerns from the community. The airline has not yet finalized its flight schedule or pricing for its service to the isolated settlement, which will begin June 1.

The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) announced their decision on March 16, and Mokulele representatives met with Kalaupapa residents the following week to discuss their needs.

“I would say there’s a guarded optimism that Mokulele will serve the community and meet our needs, but there’re still concerns,” said Department of Health Kalaupapa Adminstrator Kenneth Seamon.…

Bids For Kalaupapa’s Air Service

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

For residents of Kalaupapa, their airline is their lifeline. It’s the sole means of travel for patient residents — and for staff and visitors, landing at the isolated peninsula’s tiny airport is the only way to avoid the arduous three-mile hike up and down the pali trail. Federal funding supports the regularly-scheduled affordable flights currently provided by Makani Kai Air but the Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidy contract expires in May, and residents are concerned for the future.

Makani Kai has been serving Kalaupapa under the EAS subsidy with the support of the community since 2011. Now, two other airlines have submitted applications for Kalaupapa’s EAS contract awarded by the U.S.…

Kalaupapa Flight Concerns

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Community Contributed

By Richard Miller

Editor’s note: The Kalaupapa community is circulating a petition for their voice to be heard in the selection of the airline that serves the peninsula through the federally awarded Essential Air Service subsidy. Makani Kai currently provides affordable flights to Kalaupapa through the EAS, however residents are concerned that may soon change. For more information or to sign the petition, email, or

The Kalaupapa peninsula is a remote triangular shaped area jutting out of the north shore of the Hawaiian Island of Molokai.  The peninsula is surrounded on two sides by ocean, and on the third by the highest sea cliffs in the world.…

Ferry System Not Feasible

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

A state ferry system is not feasible, and neither is bringing back the Molokai to Maui ferry, even though it may be needed, according to a recent study from the Department of Transportation.

After being tasked with conducting the study by the state Legislature in 2016, the DOT examined the technical, commercial and financial feasibility of several types of ferries in Hawaii. It looked at an inter-island ferry, an intra-county ferry between Molokai and Maui, and intra-island ferries between West Oahu and Honolulu and between West and Central Maui.

The study reviewed the controversial Superferry, which served Oahu, Maui and Kauai between 2007 to 2009, as well as the recently shut down Molokai Princess, which ended operation between Molokai and Maui in 2016, after claiming financial hardship.…

Ohana Reduces Molokai Flights

Friday, September 8th, 2017


Ohana by Hawaiian, an inter-island flight service of Hawaiian Airlines, will be reducing its flights to Molokai this month. Many residents say the changes will cause hardship for kupuna who need the wheelchair accessibility of Ohana’s larger aircraft not offered by the two other smaller  airlines serving Molokai.

“I’m concerned about ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliance, we don’t have the ferry,” said Rep. Lynn DeCoite of Molokai.  “My concern is now, do we have to airlift guys out of there?”

In addition to wheelchair accessibility, the smaller aircraft operated by  Mokulele Airlines and Makani Kai Air have weight limitations of 350 pounds maximum per passenger, so some residents are limited to travel on Ohana’s larger aircraft.…

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

The Sproat family, owners of Molokai’s legendary mule ride, say they’re worried land access issues may prevent the business from continuing operation.

The Kalae barn that serves as their base of business — home to the mules that make daily guided trips down the rugged Kalaupapa trail — is on land owned by R.W. Meyer Ltd, leased by the Sproats. R. W. Meyer also owns the land at the trailhead by Kalae Highway, through which mules and hikers must pass to access the settlement.

The late Buzzy Sproat operated the mule ride for more than 40 years, and his family has owned the business for 25 years.…

Volunteers Carry on Search for Missing Plane

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Volunteers Carry on Search for Missing Plane

A private plane with three people onboard disappeared off Molokai’s Ilio Point on Dec. 30. After taking off from Ho`olehua Airport en route to Honolulu that evening, the Cessna 172 disappeared off radar around 7 p.m., four miles east of Ilio Point.

The plane’s pilot was Michael Childers and passengers were John Mizuno and Whitney Thomas. The Coast Guard and Fire Department began searching for the plane that night, and continued until Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, respectively, finding no debris, remains or evidence of a crash. And though official searches have been called off, dozens of family members, friends and Molokai residents have continued to search miles of coastline and ocean, not yet giving up hope of finding answers.…