Deal expands air cargo options
Aloha Airlines, which handles more than 85 percent of the state's non-mail interisland cargo, will expand its air cargo service to Molokai, Lanai and Kapalua, West Maui, beginning in April under a deal with Mokulele Airlines.
Mokulele, which operates go!Express passenger service for Mesa Air Group's go!, as well as flying independently under the Mokulele name, will operate Aloha Air Cargo Express for Aloha using a Cessna 208 Cargomaster, the all-cargo version of the single-turboprop Cessna 208B Grand Caravan.
The agreement with Aloha marks Mokulele's second partnership within the month, after expanding service to Kapalua Resort under an alliance with Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Mokulele, which currently has five daily flights to the resort, will add two more round trips from Honolulu to Kapalua five days a week in March.
David Banmiller, president and chief executive of Aloha, said the agreement with Mokulele will allow Aloha to offer daily service to three areas it doesn't serve. Aloha currently flies Boeing 737 freighters between Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, and Hilo and Kona.
"This partnership will bring tangible benefits to shippers and customers awaiting shipments from all points in the islands," he said.
The first Aloha Cargo Express plane is being outfitted on the mainland and will arrive in Hawaii within 60 days, with a second plane expected to arrive in Honolulu later this year. The Cargomasters will be capable of carrying a payload of about 4,000 pounds.
"By teaming with Aloha, Mokulele Airlines can provide these smaller communities with fast delivery of air freight and air cargo - everything from fresh bread and fresh meat to construction material and refrigerators," Mokulele President and CEO Bill Boyer said. "Over the next few months, we will make it a lot easier for residents of these communities to access the supplies they need."