Mokulele Airlines (MHO, Kona) has been selected by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) as the essential air service (EAS) provider at Hana, Hawaii. The airline will receive an annual subsidy of USD114,099 for a two-year contract.

Under the terms of the EAS contract, the carrier will offer fourteen weekly departures from Hana to Kahului using Cessna (single turboprop) 208 Caravan aircraft. The contract, which started on November 21, 2017, will operate through November 30, 2019.

Mokulele Airlines had previously served the route with the same frequency but without a subsidy. In August 2017, it filed a notice of termination, prompting the DOT to launch an EAS selection procedure. Mokulele Airlines is currently the only scheduled operator at Hana.

The Hawaiian commuter carrier has an established interline passenger and baggage agreement in place with Alaska Airlines, the DOT noted in the regulatory filing.

It had also proposed to operate flights to Honolulu but requested a subsidy nearly seven times larger than that of Kahului. Makani Kai Air had also submitted a bid in the EAS selection procedure.