Hawaiian Airlines have released an update on their continued efforts to aid and support Maui’s residents and the surrounding islands amidst the tragic wildfires spreading across the state. Peter Ingram, the airline’s CEO, has shared vital information regarding the details of Hawaiian’s endeavors.
On the 8th of August, wildfires started to spread across the island of Maui, Hawaii. The fires have been described as extremely destructive and have killed at least 96 people. Those living within Lahaina Town and the surrounding areas have been forced to evacuate due to the current total of 2,200 buildings being either damaged or completely destroyed in the fires. Officials have marked it as the deadliest wildfire in the USA for over a century and the worst natural disaster within Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki occurred in 1992.
In a video shared by Hawaiian Airlines, Peter Ingram has detailed how “overwhelming” the destruction has been for those living in Western Maui. He then discusses how Hawaiian Airlines are providing support for those affected by the fires, offering his condolences for “the tragic loss of life” and praising the airline’s teams who have been “working tirelessly” to help everyone affected by the crisis, such as keeping flights running through the night and in the early hours of the mornings.
Their top priority is to safely continue transporting people from Maui and any surrounding islands that may also be affected. Ingram maintains the importance of facilitating the work done by the federal, state, and local agencies offering aid and support. Due to the State of Hawaii issuing this disaster as an emergency, they have strongly discouraged any non-essential travel to the island of Maui and have encouraged those who are already visiting for non-essential travel purposes to leave.
Essential travel covered despite fires
After the tragedy hit, Hawaiian Airlines’ response was quick and efficient, and within the first 24 hours, they maintained and facilitated all essential travel to aid those in danger. On the 10th of August, they included nine additional flights to their flight schedule to pillar all evacuation efforts, transporting 5,786 people out of Maui and a current total of 12,718 people to and from Kahului.
The airline expects to transport over 17,000 guests and residents of Maui within the first three days since the fires started.
Regarding costs, the airline has decreased the price for every cabin seat on flights from Kahului to Honolulu to aid in diminishing as many obstacles as possible and aid those who desperately need to leave the area. These flights are now available at $19 from the 14th of August through to the 20th of August.
For those who have already scheduled flights to Maui through August 31st, the airline has also issued a ‘travel waiver’ as a means to support you. This will allow guests more flexibility to change their flight date or even cancel flights and receive a refund if needed.
Additional Aid from Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines have also aided in bringing life-saving supplies in their cargo for those in critical condition. These essential contributions include food, water, medicines, and specialised equipment for any damages, such as telecommunications repairs.
Furthermore, emergency personnel and team members such as those from Team Kokua – a program that primarily focuses on serving the different communities in Hawaii – are volunteering in shelters in the affected areas. Ingram reveals that they have issued the equivalent of 4,000 free flights for these volunteers. The airline has revealed that they are continuing to add more flights where possible in order to aid in the rebuilding process and ease the demand for travel to these areas.
How can you help Maui? – Donate your flight miles
Upset by this crisis? There are ways that we can all help Maui. Hawaiian Airlines feature ways in which you can help by donating your flight miles to charities such as the American Red Cross of Hawaii – a charity dedicated to aiding those affected by disasters within Hawaii.
Over 10,000 HawaiianMiles members have already donated flight miles to the cause, which Ingram has thanked profusely.
If you have any unused miles and are looking to aid those suffering in Maui right now, here is the link to donate your miles.
What are your thoughts on how Hawaiian Airlines have responded to this disaster? Let us know in the comments below!