Hanalei Princeville Airport, on the northern shore of Hawaii's northernmost island of Kauai, will soon see its first scheduled service after a hiatus of more than 20 years.

Honolulu-based Makani Kai Air (Honolulu) will a begin twice-daily service on May 1 between Princeville and Honolulu.

The island's main airport, Lihue, is located on the southeast coast, receiving flights from major US and Canadian carriers.

Princeville, which opened as a privately run airfield in 1977 and has a single asphalt runway, 12/26 which measures 1,085 x 18 metres, has not seen scheduled flights since the departure of the now-defunct Island Air (Hawaii) (WP, Honolulu), formerly Princeville Airways (Hanalei), in 1997.

Peak travel for the 48-minute Oahu-Princeville route was in 1994 when 27,943 passengers used the Kauai airport.

Makani Kai Air is one of a number of airlines serving intra-island routes in Hawaii. Princeville will be its sixth destination after Kahului on Maui, Kaunakakai and Kalaupapa on Molokai, and Honolulu on Oahu.

“We have had many encouraging discussions with members of the community who very much want to re-establish a direct connection to Honolulu. The convenience of direct flights cannot be overstated,” Richard Schuman, owner of Makani Kai Air, said in a statement.

The company will use a Piper (twin piston) Chieftain for the flights, carrying up to nine passengers. In Honolulu, Makani Kai Air provides a free shuttle service to the main airport terminal.

“Historically speaking, the Princeville area has shown an appetite for direct air service to Honolulu,” Schuman said. “Our customers appreciate not having to fight traffic into Lihue, not having to go through a TSA line, and they appreciate our fixed airfare, which doesn’t change from day to day.”