Job Fair Opens for Former Aloha Employees

Angel Pablo
Angel Pablo
Bernice Pablo
Bernice Pablo

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Thousands of former Aloha Airlines employees look to move onto the next chapter of their lives, at one of the biggest job fairs on the island. Close to 200 businesses set up shop at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

Many folks we talked to say they are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. But they also say, Aloha is still a big part of them, and it's difficult to move on.

Former aloha employees navigating through uncharted waters at this job fair. Many folks like Angel and Bernice Pablo have dedicated their entire lives to Aloha.

"I think initially when we walked in the doors, it was very overwhelming," said Angel Pablo, who worked as an Aloha Airlines flight attendant for 19 years.

"The dust hasn't settled yet," said Bernice Pablo, Angel's wife who also worked at Aloha for 19 years. "A lot of us, I think, are still feeling emotional still about the whole thing. A lot of us are not ready. We're really not ready."

Just over a week ago, Aloha abruptly stopped passenger service, and the Pablos filed for unemployment. Wednesday, they're looking at working in a completely new industry.

"We're grateful for this job fair just to see the community, the state, reaching out to all of us," said Angel Pablo.

They're also grateful to see their Aloha ohana again.

"There's also a bit of comfort here for some reason because you see our friends still," said Bernice Pablo. "There's still that bond, that closeness, and we're here still supporting each other."

Supporting each other and hoping for a miracle.

"I still have a little hope that there's going to be something, opens up for all of us, you just come back together," said Bernice Pablo.

But if that doesn't happen, many of them will take a piece of Aloha to their next place.

"Wherever we go out in the community, we'll always be Aloha," said Angel Pablo. "And I think it's time we go out and we spread that out into the community."

Another job fair and career expo is scheduled for Wednesday, May 21 from 9 am to 3 pm, and it's open to the general public.