(clarifies Republic flying)

The US FAA says Hawaiian inter-island regional carrier, Mokulele Airlines, was flying again this morning after being asked to voluntarily ground its fleet yesterday.

The controversy began on Tuesday when an FAA safety inspector discovered that carrier had not given required training to its cabin crew on the use of life preservers and fire extinguishers.

An FAA spokesman says the inspection was "routine" and had "nothing to do with any pending business arrangement between Mokulele and any other airline."

Mokulele is scheduled to add four Embraer E-170s flown by Republic subsidiary Shuttle America to its operations on 19 November. Mokulele currently uses a fleet of seven Cessna Grand Caravan 208Bs to fly passenger service.

"We asked Mokulele Tuesday to voluntarily cease operations until they had completed the training," says the FAA spokesman, adding that the carrier did indeed halt operations Tuesday evening in order to conduct "a massive training effort to give their pilots the required training." Flights resumed at 0540 this morning, he says.

Calls to Mokulele for comment were not immediately returned.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news