When Kristina Gomez learned her elderly parents on Moloka’i were impacted by the abrupt closure of a main grocery store in the town of Kaunakakai due to COVID-19 cases, she wanted to find a way to help. A Hawaiian Airlines guest service agent in Honolulu, Gomez reached out to our leadership team late last week, suggesting we set up a transportation service between O’ahu and Moloka’i to assist the rural island’s residents.
Teams with Hawaiian Air Cargo and ‘Ohana by Hawaiian – our turboprop operations offering passenger service to Moloka’i – worked through the weekend discussing requirements of the proposed service, consulting with local government officials, and obtaining necessary TSA approvals.
Starting today, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian will begin providing complimentary transportation of food and household items from O’ahu to both Moloka’i and Lana’i.
“There was a shared desire by community members and government officials to offer transportation service for essential items to Moloka’i and Lana’i. It was great to see our team band together to launch a complimentary shipping program in a few short days,” said Blaine Miyasato, managing director of state government affairs at Hawaiian Airlines. “A special mahalo to state Sen. J. Kalani English and Rep. Lynn DeCoite, as well as our TSA partners for their support of this effort.”
‘Ohana by Hawaiian flights operated by Empire Airlines with ATR 42 aircraft will transport, at no cost, up to two packages from O’ahu shippers sending food and/or household items to Moloka’i or Lana’i. Shippers must present a valid ID and adhere to maximum package weight and size restrictions and program guidelines before dropping off items between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at our Hawaiian Air Cargo facility. Cargo space will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 25 customers per flight each day. Shippers are encouraged to contact us at (808) 835-3799 prior to coming to our facility.
Receiving customers can pick up their shipments at the Moloka’i (MKK) or Lana’i (LNY) airports within one hour of the following ‘Ohana by Hawaiian arrivals:
· Molokai, HA 672 scheduled arrival is 5:01 PM*
· Lanai, HA 684 scheduled arrival is 7:16 PM*
*Please check HawaiianAirlines.com for flight status.
“Empire Airlines has had the privilege of providing service and support to the communities of Moloka’i and Lana’i for over six years and we are humbled by the spirit that prevails in these communities,” said Pieter Meinster, manager of Hawaiian operations at Empire Airlines. “The need to support these communities has never been greater and we stand ready to continue supporting the people of Moloka’i and Lana’i in whatever manner we are able.”
“I am so elated to hear of the service that Hawaiian Airlines will be providing Moloka’i residents,” Gomez said. “I cannot express the overwhelming gratitude I have for Hawaiian and their willingness to help the people of Moloka’i during this difficult time!”