Southern Airways Acquires Mokulele Airlines
Following the integration of the two airlines, the combined entity will operate 1,380 weekly flights, more than any other commuter airline in the 50 states.
Southern began in 2013 by offering flights from Memphis, Tennessee to Destin, Florida using a total of four pilots and three aircraft. The company is now considered one of America’s fastest growing airlines, with the Mokulele deal marking the company’s third acquisition in the last four years.
Mokulele Airlines was founded in 1994 and has gone through multiple ownership changes. Mokulele Airlines, founded in 1994 by Rebecca “Kawehi”Inaba, was the first airline started by a native Hawaiian woman. It currently operates 787 weekly departures.
Unlike Southern’s previous two acquisitions, which included name changes and rebranding, company executives say they intend to keep the Mokulele brand alive and well in the Hawaiian Islands, while eventually operating all flights on the Southern Airways FAA operating certificate.
“The Mokulele brand is beloved in the Hawaiian Islands,” said Stan Little, chairman and CEO of Southern. “I’ve found their aloha spirit to be very similar to our company’s core values, so we are truly excited about adding the Mokulele name to the Southern family of companies.”
“We’ve looked at several potential acquisitions over the last couple of years,” said Little. “This was the first opportunity that I believed to be the perfect complement to operation. We fly the same aircraft type, we have similar operational structures and their assets and revenue streams help diversify our balance sheet. This acquisition will give the newly-combined company stability in an otherwise volatile marketplace, while making Southern Airways a nationally-recognized brand.”
One of Southern’s goals for the expanded company will be to obtain additional interline ticket and baggage agreements with major carriers. Southern has interline agreements with American Airlines and Condor Airlines, while Mokulele has agreements with Alaska Airlines and Air New Zealand. Expanding those partnerships to include multiple national and global carriers will be the focus post-integration.