The lack of visitors in Hawaii has had ripple effects far and wide. Each day we see new signs of the rapid changes taking hold. Those include huge fleets of grounded aircraft and car rentals here in Hawaii. We don’t normally notice the sheer volume, since they are at all times dispersed. At least until now. It’s another visual reminder of these changing times that include checkpoints on our roads, closed beaches and that feeling of uncertainty.
Honolulu Airport now a lot for Hawaiian Airlines aircraft.
We know this is happening on the mainland too. What to do with planes that should be in the air? Most of Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet is now parked on runway 8L and an adjacent taxiway. According to the company, “at least 52 aircraft in our 61-jet fleet can be seen resting on HNL’s tarmac, waiting for the moment they can reconnect Hawai‘i to the world.” Hawaiian’s entire fleet is based in Honolulu.
The only flights operating from now through May are those deemed essential for passengers and cargo, With the remaining flights cancelled, the airline rotates aircraft in and out of the unexpected parking lot. And with other employees on furlough, 500 Hawaiian maintenance personnel remain on the job.
Parked until further notice is the entire A321 narrow-body fleet. The A330 fleet is being used for essential service, so those planes rotate in and out of parking. Parked planes are undergoing ongoing maintenance and cleaning, as well as aircraft checks which are FAA mandated every 48 hours.
Hawaii car rental parking.
Tens of thousands of rental cars are currently parked in some of the most unlikely places, including cane fields, along roads, and at stadiums, among others places.
- Maui, for example, which has the most rental cars in Hawaii, nearly 20,000 vehicles are idled.
- Oahu, the giant Aloha Stadium parking lot has been converted to store thousands of rental cars. Five companies are making use of the 6,000 stall facility. This is the first time ever that the stadium lot has been called into service.
- Kauai, car rentals can be seen parked in fields along Ahukini Landing and elsewhere.
The car rental companies, large and small, continue to pay for the cars, insurance, registration and now parking. That as virtually all of the car rental companies’ employees have been furloughed and car rentals have come to a dead halt.
Photo credit: Hawaiian Airlines.