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It wasn’t too long ago that we heard about the revamped and relaunched Mokulele Airlines, and it looks like the airline is doing its best to stay in the news. Obviously locals and tourists heading between the different islands of Hawaii can quickly rack up some decent frequent flyer miles—despite the short distances—so the airline has decided to launch its very own loyalty program. However, their new program is focused a little bit more on discounts rather than points.
The airline is introducing flexible fares for senior citizens, and the rates start as low as just $38.80 each way. Grandmas and grandpas do need to be residents of the Aloha State, and the discount fares must be booked within 30 minutes of departure at the airport. We never would have guessed that using the airport check-in counter as a ticket counter would be an option again, but that’s exactly what the WikiWings program is all about.
It’s been a crazy few years for Mokulele Airlines after heading out on their own for a bit, then switching back and forth between several different ownership groups. Well now that Transpac Aviation has paid some decent cash for Mokulele Airlines to get them from Mesa Airlines, the funky-named airline is ready to celebrate their new ownership with a little bit of a rebranding.
For the most part Mokulele Airlines does their thing in and around the islands of Hawaii, as they provide interisland transportation to tourists and locals who feel like flying instead of swimming between them. They certainly have fewer airplanes than the competition over at Hawaiian Airlines, and Mokulele does their thing thanks to their fleet of Cessna 208B Grand Caravan single-engine turboprops. Although we’re thinking that they’ll lease something a little bit nicer if they ever get those international flights off the ground.
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / Hawaiian Airlines / Air Canada / United / Mokulele Airlines / American Airlines / → All Tags
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
Someone must be a little jealous about that new option aboard Virgin America, as United Airlines is looking to bring back a nonstop option between Philadelphia and Los Angeles beginning this April.
Starting on April 1—no joke here—the carrier is heading across the country each day of the week. The flight to PHL will leave in the morning, and the flight back out to LAX leaves in the evening. With all the competition between these two cities now, we’d expect some decent fare battles throughout the spring and summer season, so get the Tums ready in preparation for cheesesteak consumption.
· American Airlines:
American Airlines loves Brazil, and they’re getting ready to prove it this year. The carrier is increasing their service into South America with new options and increases in existing service. Starting this December, the technology on the Dallas-Ft. Worth to Sao Paulo route is getting an upgrade, as American is debuting its brandy new Boeing 777-300ER. Even without the new plane they’re boosting service between the cities up to 12 times per week beginning June 14. Right around the same time they’re also increasing flights from Miami to spots like Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, so if Brazil is on the bucket list it's never been easier to get there.
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / RFD / Mokulele Airlines / Chicago Travel / Hawaii Travel / → All Tags
It’s not even Friday, and we’re already excited about some new routes. Mokulele Airlines usually does their thing flying back and forth between different Hawaiian Islands, but if all goes well they’ll soon be flying all the way to the greater Chicagoland—and beyond.
Right now the plan kind of hinges on a decision from Uncle Sam and his buddies at the FAA, but the plan would have Mokulele Airlines arrive at Chicago-Rockford International Airport (not O'Hare and not Midway) as early as March. The flights would be operated as a charter through the airlines’ Mokulele Tours group, as some chilly citizens would be whisked all the way to Honolulu through nonstop flights.
There’s trouble in paradise now that go! and Mokulele Airlines have merged. Within the last couple of weeks the two airlines have shacked up in hopes of doing some damage to the market share owned by Hawaiian Airlines. The new combined airline aims at bringing low cost cutthroat interisland fares for tourists and locals looking to hop islands for different adventures or just to get to work. Well, things have been a little bumpy as the new combined service tries to work out all the kinks quickly.
The combined effort go! Mokulele reported a lot of minor delays, and most of them were related to passengers that they couldn’t talk to about schedule changes. There were a couple travelers that complained about waiting a couple hours to take-off even though they spoke with the airline regarding schedule changes. Apparently the law says until a merger is complete, you can’t share passenger information. So they only had a few days to cut and paste all those new reservations into the new systems. It didn’t help much that the combined airline now only uses go! planes, as the old Mokulele jets aren’t going to be used in the islands.
Upstart interisland carrier Go! has been tossing coconuts through plane windows for quite a bit now with fares ranging below $10 for one-way passage between Maui, Oahu, Kauai or the Big Island. The island of Molokai, however, had remained untouched by the wonderful bloodbath that has delighted both locals and visitors bent on island-hoping.
Fares to Molokai have remained more expensive. But in late July, Go! announced it would start service to Molokai with its prop-plane cohort a Mokulele Airlines. That's gotta be good news, since Molokai has no non-stop flights from the U.S. mainland and can only be reached via ferry from Maui or via air.
Granted, Molokai is off the beaten path and probably not of interest to most Hawaii visitors. It has no luxury hotels, no real nightlife or top-notch restaurants, and much of the island is inaccessible. It's more of a drop-out, slow-down, back-to-the-land type destination. But hey, plenty of folks dig that and as for more planes flying, mo bettah, I say!
[Photo: Molokai Island]