Hawaiian cargo operator Kamaka Air (KMK, Honolulu) has contracted with Transair Hawaii (RDS, Honolulu) to maintain its services after suspending flights on June 5, 2024, following the resignation of its director of operations. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules require the director of operations role to be filled at all times to operate.

Last week, local outlets reported on the sudden shutdown, which left residents and businesses in Molokai and Lanai on edge, given Kamaka Air was the only dedicated cargo operator servicing those islands. However, within 24 hours, Kamaka CEO Dave Hinderland said Transair Hawaii had temporarily taken over the services. "Our customers are tendering their freight, and we're getting all the volume that they normally get out to the islands as usual," he said.

Hinderland told Honolulu's Star Advertiser that Kamaka was working overtime to fill the director of operations role and would be back in the air shortly. “The FAA caught it," he said. "We are in good standing with the FAA and in compliance in doing what they want us to do.”

Kamaka operates a single Cessna 408F (N408KA (msn 408-0009)) and six Cessna 208B(F)s registered as N145KA (msn 208B2019), N236KA (msn 208B2034), N248KA (msn 208B2408), N347KA (msn 208B2407), N689KA (msn 208B2308), and N8CA (msn 208B2329). FAA data shows the airline still has a Cessna (single piston) 207 and and a Beechcraft E18S and C-145H on the US register, although these appear to be inactive.

The airline's website indicates it normally conducts charter flights between Honolulu and Kona and Hilo, and combined charter and per pound flights between Honolulu and Lihue, Lanai City, Kahului, Kaunakakai, and Kalaupapa.

Hinderland is new to the CEO's role at Kamaka Air, having been appointed in May, along with Ken Gile, who became the new chief operations officer at the same time. Both men formerly held senior roles at Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field). However, Hinderland was most recently MD at Liberty Jet Advisors, while Gile was most recently an aviation consultant with DH Consultant Group. He has also worked as the commercial operating officer at flydubai (FZ, Dubai International).