Category Archives: Southern Airways Express

Southern Airways Express acquires Mokulele Airlines

Mokulele Airlines Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N829JP (msn 2429) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945684.

Southern Airways Express, operator of 600 weekly flights across 20 cities, has acquired Hawaiian-based Mokulele Airlines. The deal is Southern’s third in the last four years, firmly cementing itself as America’s fastest growing airline.

With established footprints in the Gulf South, the mid-Atlantic, and South Florida, Southern now adds Hawaii and California to its portfolio. Following the integration of the two airlines, the combined entity will operate 1,380 weekly flights, more than any other commuter airline in the 50 states. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Southern began in 2013 by offering flights from Memphis, Tenn. to Destin, Fla. using a total of four pilots and three aircraft. In 2015, Southern acquired Executive Express Aviation, the Illinois-based charter company that was previously contracted to operate Southern’s flight schedule. In February 2016, Southern acquired Sun Air Express, a commuter airline operating Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts in the mid-Atlantic. Today, Southern still operates routes in those original Sun Air-served Pennsylvania and Maryland communities, plus three additional cities in the mid-Atlantic, along with three EAS cities in Arkansas. In November 2018, Southern launched service between Palm Beach, Tampa, and Key West, replacing routes abandoned by Silver Airways.

Mokulele Airlines, founded in 1994 by Rebecca “Kawehi”Inaba, was the first airline started by a native Hawaiian woman. The airline was sold in 2005 and had multiple ownership changes, until it found stability with its latest ownership group, Transpac Aviation, Inc. Since 2011, Mokulele has grown to 15 aircraft serving 11 cities, including four EAS communities. Mokulele currently operates 787 weekly departures.

One of Southern’s goals for the expanded company will be to obtain additional interline ticket and baggage agreements with major carriers. Southern has interline agreements with American Airlines and Condor Airlines, while Mokulele has agreements with Alaska Airlines and Air New Zealand. Expanding those partnerships to include multiple national and global carriers will be the focus post-integration.


Unlike Southern’s previous two acquisitions, which included name changes and rebranding, Southern intends to keep the Mokulele brand alive and well in the Hawaiian Islands, while eventually operating all flights on the Southern Airways FAA operating certificate.

Southern is coming off a record-setting year for passenger growth in its Essential Air Service cities with some communities seeing 40 percent increases in traffic over the previous year, and many airports having had their best year for enplanements in more than a decade. Southern has also posted some of the best performance statistics in the industry, completing over 99 percent of its scheduled EAS flights in the last six months.

Founded in 2013, Southern Airways Express has quickly grown to become the largest commuter airline in the 50 states. Operating a fleet of Cessna Caravans and Grand Caravans, Southern will soon serve 30 cities with more than 220 peak-day departures from hubs at Baltimore, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Memphis, Palm Beach and Pittsburgh.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): Mokulele Airlines Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N829JP (msn 2429) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945684.

Mokulele aircraft slide show:



Southern Airways Express expands in Florida

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2013

Southern Airways Express in November is establishing a new base in West Palm Beach. On November 8 the commuter carrier will launch flights from PBI to both Tampa and Key West.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Southern Airways Express): Southern Airways Express Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N807JA (msn 20800075) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 939174.

Aircraft slide show:

Route Maps:



Southern Airways Express to add Chattanooga, Tennessee


Southern Airways Express (Memphis) will start nonstop flights between Chattanooga and Memphis on October 1. Chattanooga- Destin, Florida flights will also start in the spring according to the

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Copyright Photo: FlugKerl2 via Wiki Commons. Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N807JA (msn 20800075).

Expanding Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 8.2014 Route Map


Southern Airways Express continues to expand in the South

Southern Airways Express Caravan N807JA (Grd)(SAE)(LR)

Southern Airways Express (Memphis-Olive Branch Airport) is operating scheduled “on-demand” charter flights across the South mainly operating from FBO terminals under FAR Part 135 which means it does not have to use TSA-inspection facilities at standard Part 139 airports. As previously reported, the company started operations on June 6, 2013. It has grown a lot in its first year.

The company continues to expand. According to the commuter airline is adding new service to Madison Airport, north of Jackson, Mississippi.

On June 2 the airline will fly from the private Olive Branch Airport in the Memphis area to the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport on the north side of Atlanta. The company is also planning to add new service from Olive Branch to the Nashville area soon according to the report.

Southwest Airlines is dropping service to Jackson, Mississippi so new opportunities will exist at that airport in the future or Madison.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Southern Airways Express.

Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 5.2014 Route Map

Southern Airways Express meets with new capital investors

Southern Airways Express Caravan N807JA (Grd)(SAE)(LR)

Southern Airways Express (Memphis) today announced that it is embarking on its secondary capital raise in order to further expand the carrier’s increasing demand for flights across its five-state footprint.

Credited with helping secure a new tower for the Destin Airport due to its daily passenger service there, Southern has been a welcome amenity to those Memphis and Oxford beach homeowners and vacationers wanting direct and convenient flights.

“Our demographics support what we know people are looking for, and that is direct service without bag fees, security hassles, or parking charges,” said Stan Little, Chairman of Southern Airways Corporation. “However, the airline is not just for vacationing travelers. It also serves many of the metro area’s business men and women trying to get to meetings within the southeast region.”

The airline wants to continue to boost travel to Destin, Gulf Shores, and Panama City but also to serve other markets. With Delta having already cut non-stop destinations out of Memphis from 93 to 29, and with more anticipated cuts coming to Memphis International Airport in the future, Southern is counting on rapid growth and hoping to move quickly to meet demand.

“We need the next round of funding to secure more aircraft, expand our routes, and add the resources we need to do it right,” said Little. To date, funding has come initially from private Mississippi investors, but the next level is being considered by a group of venture capitalists out of New York.

“We’ve enjoyed being a Mid-South airline, and our corporate headquarters will remain here. Obviously, future growth plans will be dictated in large part by the wishes of our investors, and I know that the New York group is interested in our duplicating the Memphis-Destin model in the New York-Hamptons-Cape Cod markets,” Little continued. “Until this year, Memphis was an airline hub in the Southeast region for the better part of half a century. Under our model, it can be once again.”

Images: Southern Airways Express.

Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 2:2013 Route Map

Southern Airways Express wants to fly business jets from Memphis to eight southern cities

Southern Airways Express logo

Southern Airways Express (Memphis) is a new paper airline proposing to operate business jets from two general aviation airports in the Memphis area to eight cities in the south according to this report by the Memphis Business Journal. One possible destination is Destin, Florida in the Panhandle.

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The founder is businessman Stan Little. Of course the original Southern Airways (Atlanta) was very active serving Memphis for many years.

Southern Airways: AG Slide Show