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Posted: Monday, October 1st, 2012 9:11 AM HST

Inaugural Hana flight to depart Kahului airport

By Associated Press

HANA, Hawaii (AP) The first scheduled flight to Hana in more than a decade will be taking off from Kahului airport.

It's been 12 years since the remote, rural Maui community has seen scheduled air service. Driving from Kahului to Hana can take at least two hours.

The inaugural Mokulele Airlines flight will depart Monday after a blessing at Kahului airport.

The new 20-minute, twice-daily flights come from a partnership between the interisland airline and Travaasa Experiential Resorts.

Hana resident and state Sen. J. Kalani English says the flights will provide a boost for Hana's economy and its resort and spa, Travaasa Hana Maui.

He calls it a "lifeline" for Hana and says it's the first step in restoring flights at other rural airports.

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