Hawaiian Airlines had to cancel a number of inter-island flights last week after difficulties getting its pilots recertified.

Hawaiian cancels flights

The airline cancelled 32 Neighbor Island flights on Friday after a difficult week of cancellations due to recertification problems. 19 Island flights were cancelled on Thursday, leaving many passengers in the lurch. In Hawaii, the inter-island routes are primarily used by commuters who live on one island and work on another. Since the Hawaii Superferry was shut down in 2009, flying has been the way for daily travellers to get between the Islands.

a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200
a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200 | © SANspotter

The cancelled flights are down to a shortage of pilots cleared to fly Boeing 717 planes. The airline faced issues with its flight simulator in Honolulu earlier this year, putting it temporarily out of service whist it underwent maintenance work. This delayed pilot training, and now the airline faces a backlog of pilots needing to be recertified for the 717. Officials say the flight simulator has been fixed, and retraining efforts are currently underway.

Silver lining for avgeeks

The lack of 717 pilots has caused Hawaiian to make some interesting aircraft substitutions on its domestic routes. One avgeek reported that their flight from Kahului to Honolulu was operated by an Airbus A330, a plane with more than double the seating capacity of a Boeing 717. This may be one of the few times we’ll see a widebody being flown on a 100mile island-hopping route.

Hawaiian are not the only ones who’ve had simulator troubles this week. In India, SpiceJet had 90 of its pilots temporarily barred from flying the Boeing 737 MAX after a fault was discovered with their flight simulator near Delhi.

Have you experienced any interesting flight substitutions? Let us know in the comments below!

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