Hawaiian Airlines Suspends Essential ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’ Service Due to Government Malaise
Despite general agreement by the U.S. Congress to further support airlines, without an extension of the U.S. Cares Act Payroll Support Program (PSP), carriers are in the unenviable position of having no choice but to cut essential services.
On Friday (October 9, 2020), Hawaiian Airlines announced that they will temporarily suspend essential ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’ passenger and cargo services from November 1, 2020. The company reduced their workforce by 2,500 team members this month as the U.S. Congress, despite general support, was unable to pass a six month extension of the successful U.S. Cares Act Payroll Support Program (PSP). The PSP provision of the Act expired on September 30, 2020, resulting in tens of thousands of furloughs in the airline industry. Ohana by Hawaiian's suspension of service will impact passenger flights between Honolulu and both Moloka’i (MKK) and Lāna’i (LNY), as well as critical inter-island cargo service. Service between Honolulu and Kapalua has been suspended since March. Speaking on Friday’s difficult business decision, Hawaiian Airlines’ President and CEO, Peter Ingram, said,
“It is an honor to provide essential transportation for the people of Lāna’i, Moloka’i and West Maui, and more recently all-cargo service within our state. 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.’”
Hawaiian Airlines launched ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’ flights in the spring of 2014, followed by all-cargo ATR-72 service in 2018. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has agreed to provide contractual relief if the Federal Government extends PSP funding, which would help the carrier reactivate furloughed employees in an operationally responsible way. All impacted Hawaiian Airlines' guests and cargo customers are being contacted and will receive a full refund. In the case of cargo customers, they will also have the option of transporting their products via the carrier’s mainline Boeing 717 or A321neo fleet.
Source: Hawaiian Airlines