‘Ohana by Hawaiian Passenger Flights to Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i Extended Through At Least Mid-January
Hawaiian Airlines today announced it will continue to provide ‘Ohana by Hawaiian passenger flights between Honolulu and both Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i through at least mid-January 2021.
Earlier this month Hawaiian announced the need to suspend both routes on November 1.
Pandemic-induced low travel demand triggered a provision in Hawaiian’s pilot contract restricting the carrier’s ability to provide ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service; however, the US Department of Transportation has indicated to Hawaiian that, in spite of the contractual restrictions, the communities of Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i remain covered under its Essential Air Service (EAS) program and flights must be maintained at a minimum for the 90-day notice period required under that program.
“Despite unprecedented challenges, Hawaiian has indicated that its goal has always been to avoid a service interruption, and the company will comply with the EAS requirements to continue to serve Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i as it continues exploring long-term solutions to preserve critical connectivity for both islands,” a company spokesperson said.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino expressed his gratitude at the development saying, “These flights are a lifeline for Molokai and Lanai residents, so I’m very grateful that Hawaiian Airlines will extend these flights at least to mid-January. I also extend my appreciation to Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram, Empire Airlines, the Airline Pilots Association and airline employees and everyone else that is stepping up to maintain this critical service for our community.
“Our people are already struggling with COVID-19 pandemic impacts, so this is welcome news for our people, especially for those who have few other options for transporting cargo or traveling off island. ʻOhana by Hawaiian has been the only airline option for people who are in wheelchairs or those needing physical assistance to be able to travel off-island,” said Mayor Victorino.