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Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mokulele Airlines testing electric hybrid planes

One of Mokulele Airlines' interisland routes will become a test bed for new hybrid electric aircraft.

Mokulele Airlines is working with Los Angeles-based aviation firm Ampaire to pilot a hybrid model on Mokulele's route between Kahului and Hana.

It will begin by this fall, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

A hybrid electric plane could cut fuel costs by up to 70%, as well as halving typical maintenance costs, said Ampaire product manager Brice Nzeukou.

"With a short flight, it shows off the technology and its benefits. Hawaii's focus on sustainability also makes it more aligned with our own vision," Nzeukou said.

Electric power is also feasible for Mokulele's short island hopping routes including the 100-mile flight from Honolulu to Kahului.

A hybrid aircraft provides lower operational costs and the option of more frequent flights, the companies said.

The test aircraft would feature nine passenger seats.

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