Mokulele Airlines added a third daily flight from Waimea to Maui this month. CEO Ron Hansen said the additional round-trip flight began July 2.
The airline began operating flights from North Hawaii to Kaului, Maui, last year after it was awarded a federal contract to serve the route.
The contract provides a subsidy to cover 80 percent of the cost of flights through Sept. 30, 2017.
Hansen said the additional flight is not subsidized, and he expects to take the route entirely off the subsidy program by the end of the contract.
He’s projecting 12,000 riders this year.
“We’re very pleased with the response we had from the community,” Hansen said.