When Kristina Gomez learned her elderly parents on Molokai were impacted by the abrupt closure of a main grocery store in the town of Kaunakakai due to COVID-19 cases, she wanted to find a way to help.
A Hawaiian Airlines guest service agent in Honolulu, Gomez reached out to our leadership team late last week, suggesting the airline set up a transportation service between Oahu and Molokai to assist the rural island’s residents.
Teams with Hawaiian Air Cargo and Ohana by Hawaiian – the airline’s turboprop operations offering passenger service to Molokai – worked through the weekend discussing requirements of the proposed service, consulting with local government officials, and obtaining necessary TSA approvals.
Starting this week, Ohana by Hawaiian has begun providing complimentary transportation of food and household items from Oahu to both Molokai and Lanai.
Blaine Miyasato, managing director of state government affairs at Hawaiian Airlines, said: “There was a shared desire by community members and government officials to offer transportation service for essential items to Molokai and Lanai.
“It was great to see our team band together to launch a complimentary shipping program in a few short days.”
Ohana by Hawaiian flights operated by Empire Airlines with ATR 42 aircraft will transport, at no cost, up to two packages from Oahu shippers sending food and/or household items to Molokai or Lanai.
Cargo space will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 25 customers per flight each day.
This article has been edited and republished with permission from Hawaiian Airlines. All images were supplied by the airline.