KONA, HI – Aug. 26, 2009 - On Saturday (8/22), 16 volunteers from Hawaiian Airlines joined The Nature Conservancy in an inspiring effort to help restore a South Kona koa forest with Hawaii’s native plants.
Deep within a protected native Hawaiian habitat at the Conservancy’s Kona Hema Preserve in South Kona, more than 50 plants and trees of endangered species were planted by the volunteers and staff members from The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii to help expand the area’s biodiversity. The rare, native plants included the loulu palm, mamaki, maile, pilo, naio, oha wai, and olomea.
“The volunteers did a fabulous job and the hard work they put in for the day will make a big difference in the preservation of native Hawaiian plants for years to come,” said Suzanne Case, executive director for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Case was among six Nature Conservancy staff members who joined in the daylong restoration effort.
Hawaiian’s volunteers came from the airline’s Big Island and Honolulu stations, as well as the corporate headquarters. “Everyone had a wonderful time in a truly beautiful setting that reminds you of both the magnificence and fragility of Hawaii’s native environment,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian’s senior manager of government and community relations, who flew in from Honolulu for the day to participate in the project.
A video production crew for Hawaiian captured the restoration effort with the footage to be used for the “Hawaiian Skies” onboard video program and other promotional purposes.
The South Kona restoration project is a result of the partnership Hawaiian and The Nature Conservancy announced earlier this year in celebration of the airline’s 80th anniversary. The airline’s first interisland flight took place November 11, 1929, when two crewmembers and eight passengers flew from Honolulu to Hilo, with a stopover in Maui.
Hawaiian is also partnering with The Nature Conservancy on restoration projects for Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. As part of its sponsorship, the airline is promoting The Nature Conservancy’s message of environmental conservation through its inflight video program and other communication channels, and has provided a $10,000 gift in support of its educational outreach programs.
About The Nature Conservancy
Since 1980, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii has been conserving and managing native habitats and ecosystems in Hawaii. The Conservancy has helped protect 200,000 acres of natural lands in the islands and established a statewide system of 11 preserves totaling almost 40,000 acres. Today, the Conservancy is taking conservation to a new level in Hawaii by working through partnerships to protect the larger landscapes of which these preserves are a part. The Conservancy has also extended its work from the forests to the reefs and is engaged in marine
conservation in the near shore waters of the main Hawaiian Islands.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2008 in the 19th annual Airline Quality Rating study. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past five years (2004-2008) and has been an industry leader in fewest misplaced bags during that same period (#1 from 2005-2007, #2 in 2008) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Hawaiian will mark 80 years of continuous service for Hawaii on November 11, 2009. Hawaiian is the state’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state’s primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides more than 160 daily jet flights within the
Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.