Southern Airways acquires Hawaii's second-largest carrier
HONOLULU (AP) — Southern Airways has acquired Mokulele Airlines, adding flights in Hawaii and California to the commuter airline's portfolio.
The airline announced Tuesday that it bought Hawaii's second-largest carrier in a deal that closed last week, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported . Southern Airways did not disclose the terms of the deal.
The Big Island-based airline serves 11 cities with 787 weekly departures on 15 aircraft. With the acquisition, Southern Airways will serve 30 cities across five U.S. time zones.
"This acquisition will give the newly-combined company stability in an otherwise volatile marketplace, while making Southern Airways a nationally-recognized brand," said Stan Little, the airline's chairman and CEO.
Southern Airways plans to keep running Mokulele under its same name.
"All employees will be absorbed. Everything will be exactly the same as it was last week," said Keith Sisson, chief marketing officer for Southern Airways. "We'll keep the name and honor the loyalty program. This is just for the purpose of having a larger company that looks more attractive to major airlines for interline agreements and code share partnerships."
This deal is the carrier's third in four years. Its plans for continued growth include obtaining more interline baggage agreements with major carriers. It has agreements with American Airlines and Condor Airlines while Mokulele has agreements with Alaska Airlines and New Zealand.
The airline will also consider adding new flights between Hawaii islands and to locations in the Essential Air Service program, Sisson said.
"Hopefully in the next six to eight months, we might be able to make an announcement of a few new routes," Sisson said.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com