Big Island air tour company selling
KAILUA-KONA » An agreement in principal has been reached to sell Mokulele Flight Service, a Kona-based air tour and charter company, to Boyer Industries LLC.
The tour company's president and founder, Kawehi Inaba, will continue as a vice president and shareholder in the company, she said.
Mokulele Flight Service owns two 9-passenger Piper Chieftain airplanes. The new owner intends eventually to expand the number of planes and routes the company flies, but in the short term the company will operate "business as usual," an announcement said.
"We researched several small airlines before we discovered Mokulele," said Jim Waldon, Mokulele's new chief operating officer. "There was an immediate connection with Kawehi and her Mokulele family."
Inaba compared the purchase to the Hawaiian practice of "hanai," in which a child is adopted. She said the sale will allow her to spend more time with her husband and children.
Inaba founded Mokulele in 1998 as a circle-island tour company. The business expanded to charter flights to Maui, Molokai and Lanai in 2002.
In 2003 Inaba was the winner of the Native Hawaiian Business Person of the Year Award presented by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.