Last week, Island Air, Hawaii’s second largest interisland air carrier, announced significant changes to its flight schedule and routing. Effective June 1, the airline will discontinue all service in and out of Kauai, stop its direct service to Lanai and make changes to its schedule of flights between Honolulu and Maui.
The axed Kauai flights include six daily trips between Honolulu and Lihue, Kauai, and five flights from Kahului, Maui to Lihue with four return times daily.
Island Air will no longer run its five non-stop round-trips between Honolulu and Lanai, but will still service Lanai City through two daily flights from Honolulu connecting first in Maui.
Service between Honolulu and Kahului, Maui will decrease from eight daily round-trip flights to seven on weekdays, but increase to ten round-trip flights on weekends. According to a recent search of its forthcoming schedule, the route will also experience some adjustments in its mid-day and early evening flight times on both weekdays and weekends.
Island Air’s shakeup follows the announcement of record losses last year, totaling more than $21 million. Dave Pflieger, Island Air’s Chief Executive Officer, released this statement in a press release: “Our customers are extremely important to us, and we sincerely regret that we have been forced to make these changes that will impact travel plans.”
The airline is offering full refunds or re-accommodation for passengers who have already booked flights on the canceled Kauai route. Passengers booked on Maui or Lanai flights impacted by the changes will be "re-accommodated on other Island Air flights."
Meanwhile, there’s some good news for travelers between Maui and Molokai. Makani Kai Air—a small Oahu-based airline with a fleet of prop planes specializing in trips to Molokai—will begin new regular service between Kahului, Maui and Hoolehua, Molokai on June 1. The route will run between 5 to 7 flights daily in each direction. Makani Kai Air is offering a special introductory one-way of $39 for the route if you book before June 30. The introductory fare is valid for bookings made through June 30.