HONOLULU, July 9, 2003 -- Hawaiian Airlines announced it would resume its normal schedule of flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago, American Samoa starting Thursday, July 10, following an inspection yesterday by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that concluded the runway at Pago Pago International Airport meets federal standards.
In order to streamline the check-in process for its first three flights back to Pago Pago, Hawaiian will be using a different check-in area than it usually does at Honolulu International Airport. Passengers departing to Pago Pago tomorrow will be checked in at Lobby 4 in the main terminal at HIA, at counters used during different hours by Air Canada. Only passengers holding confirmed reservations will be accommodated on day of departure at the airport.
Along with its regular summer schedule of flights departing Honolulu on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, Hawaiian intends to operate an additional one or two special roundtrip flights per week until the backlog of displaced travelers is cleared. The company's reservations department will call each passenger who held seats on flights that had to be cancelled, starting with those who have been waiting the longest, to offer them the next available seats on either scheduled or special flights.
Hawaiian had suspended all flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago since June 26 after two of its Boeing 767-300ER transpacific aircraft sustained foreign object damage on June 13 and June 23 due to the runway's substandard condition. Both flights were delayed for nearly a day while repairs were completed.
The FAA yesterday approved the repairs made by the American Samoa Government. The runway is scheduled for a complete repaving in August.
Because of the runway's unsafe condition, Hawaiian was forced to cancel a total of six round trips between Honolulu and Pago Pago, displacing an estimated 2,400 travelers. The company offered its customers booked on cancelled flights the option to use their tickets on future flights or to turn them in for a refund. The company also has waived change fees for customers who want to reschedule travel to or from Pago Pago to a later date.
Mark B. Dunkerley, Hawaiian's President and Chief Operating Officer, said the company is relieved to be resuming its service and eager to satisfy the air transportation needs of American Samoa and its people.
“These past two weeks have been a trying time for all concerned and we sincerely appreciate the responsiveness of the American Samoa Government and the FAA in completing the repairs to the runway that are needed to ensure the safety of flight operations there. We've received the necessary assurances that the repairs have solved the immediate problem and that an effective inspection and maintenance program is in place,” Dunkerley said.
“We are looking forward to once again serving the American Samoa community and very much appreciate the support of Governor Tulafono and his administration in making this announcement possible,” noted Dunkerley.
Hawaiian Flight 465 departs Honolulu Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at 4:45 p.m. and arrives at Pago Pago, American Samoa at 9:10 p.m. Return Flight 466 departs Pago Pago the same days at 11:05 p.m. and arrives at Honolulu the next day at 5:20 a.m.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Founded in Honolulu 73 years ago, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's longest-serving and largest airline. The nation's 12th largest airline, it is also the second-largest provider of passenger service between the West Coast and Hawaii. Hawaiian has served American Samoa since 1984.
Hawaiian Airlines currently provides up to 30 nonstop daily flights between nine cities on the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, along with approximately 100 daily jet flights among the Hawaiian Islands. It also operates weekly service between Honolulu and American Samoa and Tahiti as well as charter service between Honolulu and Anchorage, Alaska.
Additional information on Hawaiian Airlines is available on the airline's Web site at www.HawaiianAir.com.