REPUBLIC AIRWAYS NOW 50% SHAREHOLDER OF MOKULELE

March 20, 2009, 2:53 PM HST · Updated March 31, 2:33 PM
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Republic Airways will be a 50% shareholder of interisland air-carrier, Mokulele Airlines under an agreement announced yesterday.Republic had lent the Kona-based carrier $8 million for expansion efforts, but a significant portion of that will be converted into shares under the agreement.Republic will also build on its role as the operator of Mokulele’s new jet service.Republic had provided Mokulele with four new Ebraer jets. The expanded service allowed the company to launch service between Honolulu and Kona and Lihue last year, and establish a new route between Kahului and Honolulu last month.

“We believe that the local community needs convenient, affordable air service between neighboring islands and that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or value for their daily air service needs,” said Bryan Bedford, CEO of Republic Airways. “Republic’s investment in Mokulele gives it greater financial strength and positions it to compete effectively and continue to grow its expanding base of loyal inter-island customers,” he said.

Mokulele also announced that Republic Airways Vice President for Strategic Alliances, Scott Durgin, will serve as interim President and CEO while the company conducts a search for a new senior executive to help build the airline’s senior management team. Under the new management structure, Bill Boyer, founder of Mokulele Airlines jet service, will focus on Mokulele’s expanding sales and marketing efforts.

Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and
Shuttle America. The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,300 flights daily to 104 cities.All of the airlines’ flights are operated under their airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, Midwest Connect, Mokulele Airlines and US Airways Express.

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Mokulele Airlines was founded in 1998 as Mokulele Flight Service Inc. The airline operates scheduled U.S. carrier service both independently and through participation in a code-share agreement. It also offers tour flights as well as inter-island cargo service. Mokulele Airlines currently has a fleet of seven 208B Cessna Grand Caravans and operates 56 daily departures to seven cities in Hawai’i.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

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