Kamaka Air LLC receives first of new larger aircraft

Kamaka Air’s first new Cessna 408 Sky Courier landed today at Honolulu International Airport completing its journey from the Textron factory headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. The newly developed aircraft was previously accepted at the factory in January with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and celebration. Kamaka Air executives gathered to celebrate the milestone with Lanai’s own Kahu Saul Kahihikolo Jr. and Kumulani Hula Halau from Wichita, Kansas. The delivery marks the first of two aircraft ordered nearly 4 years ago when Kamaka Air became the first retail customer of the newly designed aircraft. President Jim Petrides shared: “We’re thrilled to take delivery of the first of two Cessna 408 Sky Couriers.” The aircraft was designed in collaboration between FedEx Express design and engineering teams and Textron Aviation’s Customer Advisory Board. “When we heard about this amazing new aircraft and its capabilities we were anxious to get on board right way,” said Petrides.The aircraft is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and features the McCauley Propeller C779, a heavy-duty and reliable 110-inch aluminum four-blade propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch, designed to enhance the performance of the aircraft while hauling large loads. The SkyCourier is operated with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics. It has a maximum cruise speed of more than 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range. The aircraft features a large door with a flat floor cabin, and can hold up to three LD3 shipping containers with an impressive 6,000 pounds of payload capability.

“These new aircraft will further expand our ability to grow and serve our customers and we are thankful to our loyal customers and our O’hana for making this possible. The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, with the ability to move containerized and palletized freight for our customers.”

Kamaka Air Cargo was founded in 1993, with one twin-engine Beech 18 aircraft. The fleet quickly grew to a handful of the vintage aircraft and added a large Super DC3 to round out the fleet. Beginning in 2008 Kamaka began the transition to a modern turbine-powered fleet replacing the Beech 18s with the Cessna Su- per Cargo Master.

“It was the Cessna aircraft that changed everything for us and now the Sky Courier has done the same thing as an exceptional replacement for our retired Super DC3”.

Petrides runs Kamaka Air with Vice President John Gravener. The company is based out of Honolulu and services the entire state with emphasis on providing essential transportation of goods to the islands of Molokai’i, Lanai’i, and Maui. Kamaka Air has contracts with the United States Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, and other companies that rely on air cargo service. In addition, community-focused efforts of the company consist of transporting cats, dogs, chinchillas and even dolphins going to rescue centers. Kamaka also routinely ships for free donated educational materials, food supplies, toys, and sports gear, to name a few.