Why we fly Makani Kai

The plane banked to the left over Topside Molokai, glided smoothly to the runway below and touched down with the now familiar slight bump (I call it “bimp”) at Hoolehua Airport. It was my second touchdown in four days on Makani Kai Air on the runway of the Friendly Isle. 

My fellow passenger alighted to enjoy the charms of Topside Molokai for the month of June and I extracted my cell phone from my carry-on in order to make a call to Sister Dolores who would meet me at my destination on my arrival in Honolulu but I didn’t get a chance to do so as the pilot hopped into his seat, started the Caravan engine and we were soon on our way to Honolulu’s Daniel Inouye International Airport. That pilot really knew how to move his — donkey! LOL. 

We residents of Kalaupapa, have been flying Makani Kai for six years now and its personnel are like family to us. They make every effort to accommodate us. On many occasions they have made an extra flight to and from Topside to bring in our baggage or supplies. On this particular day, Makani Kai made an extra trip to Topside to accommodate a gentleman who had hiked down the trail but wished to fly back up. 

Despite their great service to us for six years, the National Transportation Department in Washington gave the next contract to another airline, giving a deaf ear to the residents of Kalaupapa. We have nothing personal against Mokulele but we are delighted that Makani Kai has decided to continue offering us their unique service.

The plane taxied right up to the door of Makani Kai’s new terminal which is dedicated to Kalaupapa. We were greeted by a lovely young lady who “smiled us” a welcome. Inside to meet me was my longtime friend and chief limo driver, Sister Dolores Pavao SS.CC. In the Reservation Office I received big hugs from two of the ladies (there’s nothing to compare with a good squeeze after a flight and safe touchdown). While it was good to be on “terra firma” again, it is always pleasant to fly Makani Kai

That is why we like to fly Makani Kai!

Anchor columnist Father Killilea is pastor of St. Francis Parish in Kalaupapa, Hawaii.

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