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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Maui charter company offers flights

Associated Press

KAHULUI, Hawai'i — A one-plane Maui charter company is offering an alternative to commuters hurt by interisland flight cuts by Hawai'i's two major airlines.

Paragon Charters began offering flights to Moloka'i and the Big Island after Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines cut their schedules because of the reduction in travel after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Last Thursday, Hawaiian announced that as of Oct. 1, it will cut its flight schedule by about 20 percent. The airline said layoffs are expected, but the numbers have not been determined.

Aloha Airlines also announced last week that it was cutting about 25 percent of its interisland flights and laying off 250 workers.

Paragon flies one seven-seater Partenavia aircraft that measures approximately 30 feet long with a wingspan of 30 feet.

"It's a new service for us," said Nik Charles, president of the charter airline. "We're actually a charter service, and normally base all work around businesses."

A flight from Maui to Moloka'i costs $55, and Kahului to Kona costs $165, Charles said. The company also serves O'ahu and Lana'i.

The flights are unscheduled — flight times are based on when the passengers want to travel, Charles said.