Hawaiian Airlines to offer free island flights to medical workers fighting COVID-19

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FILE - In this June 7, 2010 file photo an Hawaiian Airlines plane is shown at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. American Airlines is dropping money-losing flights between Chicago and Shanghai, and Hawaiian Airlines will suspend its only route to China because of low demand. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The friendly skies are getting friendlier.

Hawaiian Airlines has announced the carrier will begin offering medical workers free flights between islands during the month of April. The airline will also be modifying its flight schedule for two weeks during the state’s self-quarantine requirement, which began April 1.

Hawaiian Airlines said it will provide free travel to neighboring islands “to support travel associated with COVID-19 response efforts,” a press release stated.

“This virus has presented an unprecedented test for all of us who call Hawai‘i home, and we are glad to be able to support the exceptional and important work our medical providers are carrying out across our islands each day to meet our state’s healthcare needs and help us overcome this challenge,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram, via the press release.

As part of the initiative, Hawaii Airlines partnered with hospitals and healthcare service providers on the islands.

One of the partners, Hawaii Emergency Physicians Associated, praised the gesture.

“The doctors of Hawaii Emergency Physicians Associated appreciate Hawaiian Airlines facilitating us traveling to Critical Access Hospitals across the state and particularly to isolated communities on Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i,” said HEPA President Dr. Craig Thomas and Vice President of Operations Dr. Katherine Heinzen Jim, via a press release.

Hawaiian Airlines had announced last week that it would be suspending nearly all of its flights to the mainland U.S., but continuing inter-island and cargo flights. Beginning April 4, Hawaiian Airlines will also introduce its new Neighbor Island flight schedule, which will offer three daily roundtrip flights – for a total of 16 flights daily – to surrounding islands from Honolulu Airport.

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