Makani Kai Air (Honolulu) and Mokulele Airlines (MHO, Kona) have announced they will merge their operations and operate under the singular Mokulele Airlines brand when Hawaiian interisland flights resume on June 15.

A joint statement said that although the overall merger process is expected to take four to five months, joint operations will start this month. Makani Kai Air is a subsidiary of Schuman Aviation Company whose other subsidiaries, Magnum Helicopters and Hawaii Aviation Services, are not a part of the merger with Mokulele. However, Makani Kai’s founder and president, Richard Schuman, will join Mokulele Air as Executive Vice President (Operations).

“I was worried about the commuter industry not being there for the Hawaiian people once the COVID crisis ends,” Schuman told The Star-Advertiser newspaper. “I reached out to Mokulele CEO Stan Little and suggested that maybe we can better serve the Hawaiian people if we team up and do it together.”

Makani Kai operates a fleet of six Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Grand Caravans, a single Piper (twin piston) PA32, and three helicopters on passenger charter flights throughout the Hawaiian archipelago. For its part, Mokulele Air is a subsidiary of Tennessee-based Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis International) and operates twelve Cessna Grand Caravan 208Bs on domestic Hawaiian services.

Going forward, Makani Kai’s flights will now be sold exclusively through Mokulele’s distribution channels.