Hawaii community advocate Alaska Airlines has stepped up its efforts to help in the devastating Lahaina fire. They just announced that “Alaska Airlines is closely monitoring the devastating impacts from the Maui wildfires and continues to operate eight daily departures from the island. To help people leave the island, we stood up a rescue flight, which departed from our Seattle Cargo facility this morning. The flight was filled with relief supplies, including water, non-perishable food, pillows, blankets, towels, wipes, baby formula, and diapers. The aircraft will bring guests back to Seattle early tomorrow morning.” Kudos to Alaska for helping.
Alaska also said it is trying to determine how best to help next. “The carrier said it is “assessing” the addition of more rescue flights to help people flee. “What we’re seeing in Hawaii is devastating, and we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
Not alone in their efforts, every airline with flights to Hawaii is determining how best to help Maui immediately and in the long run.
Other airline initiatives currently underway include:
As we were first to report yesterday, American Airlines and United Airlines have been ferrying empty jets to Hawaii to use the planes to evacuate visitors on Maui back to the mainland. We note that United Airlines has again canceled ten incoming flights to Maui, reflecting those efforts.
Perhaps they will bring emergency supplies on their flights to further assist with what’s needed, although we saw no statements to that effect.
American Airlines also brought empty planes to Maui yesterday. But today, we are not sure if that’s still the case. They are likely empty, given that the state has requested a pause on all non-essential travel to Maui. American has also added another flight to Phoenix today and upguaging another flight from narrow-body to widebody to assist with rapid evacuation.
Delta Airlines says it is also sending in supplies.
The company said the supplies it is sending are initially to assist their employees and customers stranded there. They, too, said they are “evaluating how we can best further these efforts.”
Yesterday’s departures from Maui exceeded 11,000 visitors. Today, perhaps 15,000.
It isn’t clear how many will also be departing today. However, we suspect it will be even more as shuttle buses from Kaanapali are shuttling passengers to Kahului Airport. Guests have left their rental cars in place at their lodging, and many report leaving without their belongings.
Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines add to airlift.
Both airlines, which have both national and interisland flights, have added and will add more flights as needed to assist with evacuating travelers from Maui. Flight prices have been reduced to as little as $19 to help with the effort.
Photo credit from Alaska Airlines today loading supplies in Seattle for Maui.