Hawaiian Air to Expand Interisland Cargo Servies
By Maui Now Staff
The parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Holdings Inc., plans to acquire three ATR 72 turboprop aircraft in an all-cargo configuration to expand its interisland shipping services.
The new operation will launch in the first half of next year, starting with flights between Honolulu International Airport and Kona International Airport, Kahului Airport, Līhuʻe Airport and Hilo International Airport , with well-timed connections from Hawaiian Airlines’ Mainland and international network.
The ATR 72 fleet can carry up to 18,000 pounds of cargo and will be able to handle five 88-by-108-inch aircraft pallets or up to seven LD3 containers, skidded cargo and oversized shipments. Express services for smaller shipments will also be available on its 160 daily B717 flights throughout the day.
“Our customers have asked for a single-provider solution for movement to all major destinations within the state of Hawai‘i,” said Tim Strauss, Hawaiian’s vice president of cargo sales and services. “Our ability to handle interisland containerized and palletized cargo will provide greater flexibility for our customers seeking seamless connections from our long-haul flights, and it will help grow our business on both our wide-body and B717 services.”
The flights will be branded ‘Ohana by Hawaiian and operated by Empire Airlines, which also operates the 48-passenger ATR 42 turboprop service. The livery of the aircraft will feature the same kapa tail patterns created by Hilo-based artist Sig Zane and his son Kūha’o.
“Since launching the ‘Ohana by Hawaiian passenger operation in March 2014, we have established a track record of providing a reliable and efficient service for travel within the islands with an on-time arrival rate of 94 percent,” said Hadden Watt, managing director of ‘Ohana by Hawaiian. “We expect to deliver the same reliability and high-quality of service to our cargo customers for their interisland shipments.”
The new cargo operation will create more than 100 new Hawai’i-based jobs in various areas of air transportation, including pilots, mechanics, ground handlers, sales, customer service and management positions.
Hawaiian Airlines was the first US airline certified to ship cargo in 1942, and has provided high-quality overseas shipping and customer service to international customers, freight forwarders, carriers and many others in the industry for more than 70 years as the flagship carrier of the Pacific.