While our nearly empty cabins signal the difficult new reality facing the airline industry, the containers that fill the bellies of our aircraft tell a different, more uplifting, story.
Even with our significantly reduced flight schedule, our cargo team has been working tirelessly to maintain critical service for shippers and transport much-needed items from the U.S. mainland to help local businesses keep shelves filled, allow organizations to continue supporting our most vulnerable residents, and move critical medical supplies between the islands.
Each day approximately 112,000 pounds of cargo is carried across our network, including produce and other perishables but also time-sensitive products within the state like pharmaceuticals and Blood Bank of Hawai‘i shipments. We are currently transporting cargo between Hawai‘i and Los Angeles and San Francisco with wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft, and within the islands with our narrow-body Boeing 717 jets and ATR 72 all-cargo turboprop aircraft.
When the Salvation Army's Kroc Center needed a quick shipment of disposable food containers after COVID-19 caused demand for its meal assistance program to double, our team was ready to help. Last week, we transported 20,000 meal containers from San Francisco to Honolulu, allowing the organization to serve more kupuna, keiki and families on O‘ahu.
“I would like to thank Hawaiian Airlines for their generosity and support of our outreach programs to meet the needs of our precious island community,” said Charmaine Hauanio-Kuewa, who serves as the community liaison, public information officer and creative arts & education manager at the Kroc Center. “It's organizations like Hawaiian that help us to provide emergency disaster services to the people that need it most.”
The critical demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) on Maui prompted our cargo, sales and government relations teams to spring into action. Last weekend, we transported 10,000 surgical face masks from Las Vegas (via our once-daily Los Angeles-Honolulu flight) to the Maui County mayor's office, which distributed the items to Maui Memorial Medical Center, first responders, volunteers and other community members.
Other efforts within Hawai‘i haven't required moving cargo at all but rather moving our excess inventory to the right organization. With nearly 95 percent of our flight schedule currently suspended, we’ve quickly amassed a surplus of in-flight service items. We have recently donated over 7,500 cuplets of our popular POG juice to the Hawaii Foodbank; 1,000 fleece blankets to the Honolulu Police Department to support the state’s Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons (HONU) program; and over 2,000 of our First-Class lie-flat seat mattresses to the Hawaiian Humane Society.
And just yesterday, we shipped masks from Honolulu to Maui and the Island of Hawai‘i on behalf of Every1ne Hawaii in partnership with Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (HVOAD), which consists of nonprofits, faith-based, and community organizations, as well as government and private sector partners that voluntarily choose to provide some form of disaster-related services throughout the state. Every1ne Hawaii routed the masks to organizations that support feeding programs in local communities, including Meals on Wheels services.
“This donation highlights the best way to coordinate donations to help flatten the curve for the COVID-19 response,” said Luke Meyers, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator. “Every1ne Hawaii’s mask donation protects both those that provide the meals as well as the clients, who are often elderly. HVOAD makes its donation visible to both county and state Emergency Management/Civil Defense agencies so there isn’t a duplication of effort to get Meals on Wheels services masks. Hawaiian Airlines transporting the masks to Neighbor Islands helps to get it there faster. It’s what we would call a win-win all around.”