Mokulele Airlines to layoff 10% of workforce
The Kona-based inter-island airline notified employees of the layoffs in an internal email sent on Wednesday. "This is one of several efforts we are making to bring Mokulele to profitability."
HONOLULU - Mokulele Airlines confirmed to KITV4 that it plans to lay off 10% of its workforce.
The Kona-based inter-island airline notified employees of the layoffs in an internal email sent on Wednesday.
"This is one of several efforts we are making to bring Mokulele to profitability," Mokulele Airlines President Rob McKinney said in the memo. "As you can imagine, we can’t be here for the long term if our company continues to lose money each month."
According to the company website, the airline employs more than 250 people in Hawai'i and California. McKinney said over staffing and lack of profitability are part of what led to the layoffs. "Some of our stations have been staffing up to seven people to turn a nine-seat plane. This is obviously not sustainable."
McKinney added the layoffs are a "short term pain" to keep the airline afloat. "These reductions are a one-time cut required to “right-size” our staffing," he said. "It hurts to have to make decisions like this, but in the end, our company has to survive and ultimately thrive!?"
The memo also cited concerns over Southwest Airlines entering the Hawai'i market.
"With Southwest aggressively entering the market we have to focus on running a perfect operation while keeping fares low in order to prosper," a company representative stated in an email to KITV4. "We have always been an expansion airline and hopefully, with additional interline agreements from major carriers, we will soon be able to announce expanded routes and frequency as the demand increases."
It's unclear how many employees in Hawai'i will be impacted by the layoffs.
This story will be updated.