Ohana by Hawaiian, Hawaii’s newest interisland operation, recently launched its inaugural turboprop service to Molokai, the first of two islands it will return to the Hawaiian Airlines network. Twice daily service between Honolulu and Lanai will launch on March 18.
The arrival of Flight HA614 into Molokai Airport was followed by a cultural exchange featuring an oli kāhea (chant of admission) presented by Hawaiian Airlines and Ohana by Hawaiian staff asking for permission to enter the community, and an oli aloha (chant of welcome) from the Hawaiian language immersion students of Pūnana Leo o Moloka‘i and ‘O Hina i ka Malama, and the seniors of Alu Like, Inc.’s Ke Ola Pono No Nā Kupuna.
Remarks were given by renowned Hilo-based artist Sig Zane, who designed the livery of the aircraft; Tim Komberec, president and chief executive officer of Empire Airlines; Molokai Senator Kalani English, chair of the Committee on Transportation and International Affairs; Stacy Crivello, Maui County council member; Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer; and Hadden Watt, Ohana by Hawaiian managing director.
The festivities also included a luau with nearly 500 Molokai residents in attendance, live Hawaiian entertainment, tours of the aircraft and a blessing prior to the departure of Flight HA615 to Honolulu.
Ohana by Hawaiian will offer three daily flights between Honolulu and Moloka‘i using a 48-seat ATR-42 aircraft.
The Ohana by Hawaiian operation creates more than 100 new Hawai‘i-based jobs in various areas of air transportation including pilots, flight attendants and mechanics as well as ground-handling and customer service positions. Hawaiian Airlines handles reservations and sales for the new operation, allowing the interisland flights to integrate seamlessly into Hawaiian Airlines’ well-established route network. The new service operates out of gates 49 and 50 at Honolulu International Airport.