All's fare as Mokulele, Hawaiian roll out interisland promotions

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Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

Hawaii's interisland carriers are busy dropping one-way ticket prices again. Go Airlines just finished a month's worth of reduced rates, but Mokulele and Hawaiian both recently launched promotions that seem to have the competition in mind.

Mokulele Airlines announced its Travel Coupon Booklet promotion, featuring five one-way tickets at a total cost of $267, on Feb. 24. According to the airline, booklet supplies are limited, but the coupons are fully transferable, are valid on any Mokulele flight, include all federal, segment and security taxes and are good through Dec. 31. Plus there are no penalties for cancellations or itinerary changes prior to departure.

Hawaiian Airlines also launched its Kama'aina Guarantee Program on Feb. 24. The promotion enables customers to sign up at the airline's website to lock in up to 40 one-way interisland flights at $43 apiece. Users must sign up before March 11, and departures must be before May 15. The $43 Hawaiian fare is subject to all taxes and fees.

Both Mokulele and Hawaiian seem to be well aware of the other's promotion. On Mokulele's website, just below the Travel Coupon Booklet banner, are the words "No membership required." And in the press release announcing Hawaiian's fare guarantee program, sent out Feb. 24, the airline's membership plan involves "no money up front and no risk of losing flight coupons."

Go completed its $27 one-way fare special, offered through their website, on Feb. 28. The promotion was valid only for tickets purchased in February.

It's no secret that Hawaii's interisland flight business is highly competitive, and at times, keeping track of the fares offered by each of the state's airlines can be dizzying. But for relative newcomer Mokulele, that competition may well be taking a toll.

The airline made headlines recently for a delinquent loan payment of $300,000 owed to Republic Airlines as part of the companies' air service agreement.

Articles in local newspapers discussed the possibility of Republic taking control over Mokulele should the carrier fail to make the payment. Mokulele, however, made the payment on Feb.18, and when reached on the phone the day after, the airline's CEO, Bill Boyer, said he was confident his company would make good on another large payment scheduled for Feb. 25.

"We're shifting things around and trying to get things up and running," Boyer said about the payments. "And we just got a little bit delayed; we're a new company, and this is just the start of a few growing pains."

For more information about Mokulele Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines' current promotions, visit www.mokuleleairlines.com and www.hawaiianair.com.

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