HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the dramatic decline in air travel, Hawaiian Airlines says it’s scrambling to shore up its bottom line — and has already floated voluntary furloughs with workers.
On Sunday, the company announced they would be suspending most long-haul passenger flights in light of Gov. Ige’s quarantine mandate. Many mainland and international flights are no longer being offered after this coming Wednesday.
Signs have been posted at the airport alerting travelers of the changed flight schedule.
Hawaiian Airlines said out-of-state flights remaining in service include one daily route from HNL to LAX, and its once a week flight from Honolulu to American Samoa.
Neighbor island flights, though on a reduced schedule, will still be offered.
The company also said they were suspending ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service between Honolulu and Kapalua in West Maui, effective Wednesday.
Hawaiian said their main focus over the coming days was to get passengers home safely.
“We support the state of Hawaii’s efforts to quickly contain this illness," company President and CEO Peter Ingram said.
“We have begun notifying our guests and helping them return home – both to Hawaii and from Hawaii. We sincerely appreciate our guests’ patience and understanding during this difficult period for Hawaiian and the state of Hawaii.”
Just a day prior at a news conference alongside Gov. Ige, Ingram said the airline was losing millions of dollars daily and their revenue is now virtually at zero.
“We have not furloughed anyone. We are doing everything we can to avoid furloughs,” Ingram said.
The company has offered voluntarily leave to their more than 7,000 workers statewide. The offer for voluntary leave includes a continuation of medical benefits and other incentives.
“We are trying desperately to avoid involuntary furloughs, but I can’t predict what the future will hold unfortunately,” Ingram added. “I wish I could have more confidence that we’d be able to avoid that in the long term, but this is a very uncertain situation."
Ingram also confirmed Saturday a Hawaiian Airlines employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The airlines sent out an internal email to its employees indicating the person infected is a flight attendant.
He said that case was unrelated to any of the previously positive cases from visitors on Hawaiian Airlines flights.
Ige’s mandate of a 14-day quarantine for inbound travelers to the state does not apply to flight crews including pilots and attendants. When asked why, state officials said the crews don’t stay long enough for concern, and quarantining them for a long period wold hurt company operations.
Flight attendants and pilots who arrive at an airport in Hawaii and wish leave the airport will be subject to a temperature screening.