By Mark Carpenter
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Aloha Air Cargo welcomed the newest member of its fleet on Monday.
More than 50 employees were on hand at the cargo hangar for the blessing of the first of two new Saab 340A Turbo-prop aircrafts.
The aircraft's payload is one-third of Aloha's Boeing 737's, and uses a fifth of the fuel, allowing the company to schedule more daily flights.
According to Aloha Air Cargo president Lee Steele, the new plane's efficiency will help the company serve more customers throughout the day.
"The customers that will really see the flexibility will be our daytime customers that we haven't been able to service for years," Steele said. "We have the blood banks, the banks that move money and checks through the state, we have laboratories. Those customers are going to really welcome us back because we'll have the daytime option that we haven't had in the past."
In addition to the new aircraft, the company is also welcoming a host of mechanics and eight new pilots.
One of the pilots -- Captain Grant Arakawa, fleet manager of the new Saab aircrafts -- describes the mood around Aloha Air Cargo as "Very exciting for the company. Any growth is good growth, and this is definitely growth for the company."
The second 340A Turbo-prop aircraft is expected to arrive later this summer.