Hawaiian Airlines to Serve Molokai This Year
Hawaiian Airlines plans to begin service to Molokai and Lanai this year, and the certification process to launch its new subsidiary, Ohana by Hawaiian, has resumed. After 2013 budget sequestration caused delays in certification through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hawaiian officials say things are back on track.
In the fall of 2012, Hawaiian Airlines announced its plans to add Molokai and Lanai to their itinerary, anticipated to begin in 2013. The start date was pushed back several times, and there is still no estimated timeframe.
Alison Croyle, director of external communications, confirmed that the airlines is in the third of four phases in the certification process. Phase three involves performance assessment, during which the FAA “observes and monitors many types of applicant activities to confirm that… operating systems produce the intended results,” according to the FAA.
The next and final phase of the application process involves the FAA issuing an air carrier or operating certificate and operations specifications after all requirements have been completed.
Neither Hawaiian nor the FAA can say at this time how long the remainder of the process will take.
Allen Kenitzer, manager of communications for the FAA Northwest Mountain & Alaska Regions said the airlines “are the ones driving the timeline.”
“We’re working closely with the FAA to finalize the process but we do not have a timeframe for completion,” said Croyle, addingt that the new service will begin within one month of receiving the certification.
Ohana by Hawaiian will use ATR 42 twin turboprop aircraft, owned by a Hawaiian subsidiary company and operated by Idaho-based Empire Airlines. The company has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with Hawaiian to maintain and fly the aircraft. Pacific Business News reported that two ATRs will be in operation, with a third on reserve.
“We look forward to connecting Molokai residents with convenient daily service to Honolulu,” said Croyle.