Ohana by Hawaiian will enter service with flights between Honolulu International airport and Moloka’i on 11 March, more than half a year later than planned.
The Hawaiian Airlines subsidiary will operate three daily flights on the route and add two daily flights between Honolulu and Lana’i on 18 March. Flights will be operated on three 48-seat ATR 42-500 aircraft.
“As Hawaii’s first airline, this new operation anchors us to our legacy and vision to connect all of our island communities through flight, making it easier for kama‘āina and visitors alike to share time together,” says Hadden Watt, managing director of Ohana, in a statement.
Future service could include off-peak flights between Hilo, Kahului (Maui), Kona and Lihue.
Hawaiian planned for Ohana to enter service in either July or August 2013, however, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification was delayed due to the federal government sequester budget cuts in March 2013.
The FAA certified the regional carrier following the completion of proving flights by 7 February, Hawaiian confirms.
Utah-based Empire Airlines will operate Ohana. The contract includes all “below wing” functions - pilots, flight attendants, maintenance, oversight and operations control – the airline’s chief executive Timothy Komberec told Flightglobal in May 2013. Hawaiian will provide the above wing functions.
Hawaiian and Empire have a three-year contract for Ohana.
Ohana will operate out of gates 49 and 50 at Honolulu airport.