HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaiian Airlines announced Thursday that it will not restart its “Ohana by Hawaiian” passenger service, which was suspended in November due to the pandemic.
“It’s a heartbreaking decision, especially for those of us who were involved in launching the company in 2014,” said Peter Ingram, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “We have carefully reviewed the service and were unable to identify a way to restart and operate in a sustainable manner.”
Hawaiian said it would have incurred significant costs and faced many hurdles to restart service with its current fleet. The earliest flights could have resumed was at the end of this year.
“Ohana by Hawaiian flew from Honolulu to Molokai and Lanai, serving hard-to-serve communities. It was operated by Empire Airlines, based in Idaho, and employed 97 people.
Mokulele Airlines continues to serve these islands and said Thursday it would expand service following Hawaiian’s announcement.
Also on Thursday, Hawaiian announced it would end its statewide ATR cargo service.
The news comes as the Hawaiian struggles to keep up with neighboring island’s demand as well.
Hawaiian Airlines chief operating officer Jon Snook said the neighboring island’s quarantine rules continued to reduce traffic.
Inter-island travelers must test negative for COVID or present a vaccination record to avoid quarantine.
“We believe quarantine is no longer necessary,” Snook said.
“It was put in place in the summer of last year, when there had been over 300 cases last year in Honolulu. So it made sense to protect the neighboring islands at that time. But that doesn’t make sense right now. “
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