Ohana by Hawaiian, Hawaii’s newest interisland operation, launched its inaugural turboprop service to Molokai Tuesday.
The arrival of Flight HA614 into Molokai Airport was followed by a cultural exchange featuring several oli, or chants. 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.
“Today marks a very special day for us as Hawaiian Airlines returns to the island of Molokai, in partnership with Empire Airlines, to serve its residents and community members with our new turboprop service,” said Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.
Many residents say they’re happy about the new service, since it will help fill the void left by Island Air when it suspends service to Molokai on April 1. “It makes us feel like we’re reconnected with the islands,” said Molokai resident Dorie Carlson. “Actually having another air carrier to take our kupuna and our familes out of the island, for me and my family, we felt like we’re very limited for transportation.”
Ohana by Hawaiian will also launch twice-daily service between Honolulu and Lanai on March 18.