As pandemic drags on, ’Ohana by Hawaiian suspends flights to Molokai, Lanai

As pandemic drags on, ’Ohana by Hawaiian suspends flights to Molokai, Lanai

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines has announced it will temporarily suspend its 'Ohana by Hawaiian flight service from Honolulu to Molokai and Lanai.

The airline is also suspending 'Ohana by Hawaiian cargo service within the state.

Hawaiian Airlines, which reduced its workforce by nearly 2,500 employees this month, said it was forced to suspend the flights because of continued low demand across its Neighbor Island network.

In a news release, the carrier said:

"Low travel demand ... triggered a labor provision in Hawaiian’s pilot contract affecting the carrier’s ability to provide 'Ohana by Hawaiian service. The provision, which is common in the U.S. airline industry, prevents Hawaiian from offering 'Ohana by Hawaiian flights ― which are operated with turboprop aircraft by Empire Airlines as a third-party feeder carrier – when interisland Boeing 717 and Airbus A321neo jet flights operated by Hawaiian’s pilots are severely reduced.

Hawaiian launched 'Ohana by Hawaiian flights in 2014, followed by all-cargo service in 2018.

“It is an honor to provide essential transportation for the people of Lanai, Molokai and West Maui, and more recently all-cargo service within our state,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian.

“While we are disappointed at being unable to avoid the service suspension, this is a difficult situation for both Hawaiian and Empire Airlines as we navigate an incredibly challenging period, and we all remain committed to returning flights to communities that rely on 'Ohana by Hawaiian.”

The carrier said it is contacting customers affected by the service suspension.

Mokulele Airlines said in the wake of Hawaiian Airlines' service suspensions, it has dedicated additional aircraft and crews to Molokai and Lanai starting Nov. 1. The airline said fares will not change.

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