The High and the Mighty

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Story by Rod Antone | Photo by Bob Bangerter

maui air serviceWant to know where to find the ultra-rich on Maui?

We’re talking Saudi sheikhs and rulers of small African nations.

We’re talking gold bathroom sinks. Solid. Gold.

Kahului.

Yup, right in the middle of the sugarcane field. They may be in transit to other, more luxurious parts of the island, but for the time it takes to board or disembark their private aircraft, you’ll find the superrich right here, on the heliport side of Kahului Airport.

“You never know who you’re going to meet,” says an Air Service Hawai‘i staffer we’ll call “Jane.” “Could be CEOs, royalty, anyone.”

Air Service takes care of private jets that can cost $50 million, and that’s before you add the personal chefs, bodyguards, nannies, pilots, flight attendants and whoever else you’ve hired for your own personal crew. Jane and her fellow employees fuel the plane, call agriculture inspectors to check the luggage, send the sheets out to be dry cleaned (some of these planes have entire bedrooms), call the caterer, get a limo, arrange for a resort suite and whatever else the clients want done.

The only thing employees can’t do is name names. But they do have great stories.

“I don’t understand the rich guy who flies here with his wife and kids one month, then with his girlfriend the next,” says Jane. “Doesn’t he know this is a small island?”

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