Pilot job fair draws former Island Air employees

The former check-in counter for Island Air was empty today. No customers waiting to be checked-in. No employees behind the counters.

TSA workers were pulled out of the commuter terminal Saturday afternoon. Mokulele airlines, the only airlines remaining in the commuter terminal, is not required to have TSA screening for their flights.

Amongst the handful of people in the terminal was a Hawaiian Airlines Team Kokua member.

He volunteered to assist Island Air customers that may not have heard the news. He said at least three people showed up around 11:00 a.m. expecting to catch their flight.

They were directed to Hawaiian Airlines customer service at the inter-island terminal.

The Future and Active Pilots Advisors (FAPA) were holding a job fair at the Dole Cannery. KHON2 stopped by to see what opportunities were available.

Robert Kreppein of Gama Airlines said his company specifically came to the job fair looking to hire Island Air pilots.

“The reason we came is we saw the bankruptcy for Island Air a month and a half ago,” Kreppein said. “We thought this might be a good place to come and recruit pilots for our operation, not knowing that last night was going to be the last night that it operated.”

Other airlines, including Skywest and Envoy, said they spoke to dozens of former Island Air pilots.

KHON2 spoke to a couple of Island Air pilots at the event, but they were instructed not to speak to the media by their former employer.

Since the news broke on Thursday about Island Air’s closing, Hawaiian Airlines has actively tried to assist.

Hawaiian Airlines President Mark Dunkerley shared his sentiments.

“I want to express our concern for the employees and our sadness to see island air go and leave our industry after 37 years,” Dunkerley said.

Hawaiian Airlines is planning a job fair exclusively for former Island Air employees Saturday, November 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Hawaiian’s Honolulu headquarters at 3375 Koapaka Street.

“In the hopes that we can fill some of the positions that we have vacant with former island air employees,” Dunkerley said.

For a list of job openings at Hawaiian Airlines, go to https://www.hawaiianairlines.com/careers.

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