Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis International) has reached an agreement with Jetstream Aviation Capital to take an additional three Saab 340Bs over the following few months, with one to be deployed to Southern's Hawaii subsidiary, Mokulele Airlines (MHO, Kona), and the other two to its mainland US operations.

A Southern Airways Express spokesperson told ch-aviation that the Hawaii-bound Saab (Sweden) is due there early this (northern) summer but the specific aircraft has not yet being selected. Mokulele Airlines already operates two Saab 340Bs, N79SA (msn 334) and N95SA (msn 345), primarily between Honolulu and Kaunakakai. The arriving Saab is expected to mostly fly scheduled services between Honolulu, Kaunakakai, and Lanai City. The Saabs supplement Mokelele's larger fleet of Cessna (single turboprop) 208EX Grand Caravans. In addition, three Southern Airways Express-owned Tecnam P2012s deployed to Marianas Southern Airways (Saipan) are heading to Mokulele Airways after Marianas Southern Airways ended operations on April 1, 2023.

“We are in the process of refurbishing our entire Hawaii fleet with new paint to prevent corrosion caused by the salt air,” said Stan Little, CEO of Mokulele Airlines, in a statement. “Southern’s ability to almost immediately deploy three Tecnams to use as reserve aircraft will ensure greater reliability.”

Mokulele Airways is reportedly experiencing some capacity pressures regarding its fleet, with the two existing Saabs out-of-service last week. One was out for scheduled inspections and the other was unexpectedly withdrawn from service after a ground power unit malfunctioned and damaged the plane. FlightRadar24 ADS-B data indicates N95SA was out of service between March 20 and March 28, but had now resumed scheduled operations, while N79SA last flew on March 19. The airline advises it is putting on additional Grand Caravan flights as a stopgap measure.