Hawaiian Airlines this week marked the launch of new all-cargo services with two special flights to support disaster relief projects on the islands. Recent powerful storms and the continuing Kīlauea volcano lava flow have caused severe damage to many homes and businesses, with repair work ongoing.
The flights from Honolulu/Daniel K Inouye International Airport were bound for Līhu‘e Airport and Hilo International Airport, carrying construction and household supplies to support relief projects.
“We are honoured to utilise our new cargo operation to help support our neighbours in need,” said Peter Ingram, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.
The Hawaiian flag carrier used their new ATR-72 for the job, with one aircraft loaded with construction tools bound for Līhu‘e, and a second flight to Hilo carrying furniture for 20 micro-houses to shelter families affected by the Kīlauea volcano. Also on board were 23 boxes of school supplies collected by Hawaiian employees for delivery to a local elementary school.
Hawaiian’s new cargo operation consists of two ATR-72 aircraft in an all-cargo configuration, which the airline says will offer well-timed connections with its wider services to the U.S. mainland and beyond. The fleet is operated by Empire Airlines, which also operates the ‘Ohana by Hawaiian subsidiary using four 48-passenger ATR-42 aircraft.
The carrier’s dedicated cargo service is expected to grow in the coming months, with the arrival of two further aircraft due in 2019, complementing the airline’s existing bulk freight and containerised shipping offering on its mainline Airbus A330, A321neo and Boeing 767 aircraft.