Monday, May 16, 2022 |
Share this story
LIHU‘E — Coming on the heels of a Hawaiian Airlines flight in a pattern for Kona winds, the rebranded Boeing 737 slipped through the gray skies on its final approach to Lihu‘e Airport.
Aboard the plane was 30,000 pounds of produce that missed its connecting barge to Kaua‘i, necessitating Esaki’s to charter the flight to get the load here.
This is the first daytime flight for Aloha Airlines since it declared bankruptcy in March 2008, said Earl Kashiwagi of Esaki’s Produce in Kapa‘a.
“There’s still a little left over in Honolulu, but that will be coming on the first flight out tonight,” he said. “The ocean conditions between here and California are really bad. That resulted in the ship arriving in Honolulu a day late.”
That delay meant the connection to Young Brothers to get the produce to Kaua‘i was broken.
“We could wait a few more days to get the load here,” Kashiwagi said. “But when you are dealing with a perishable commodity like produce, freshness is the key. We want to be able to get it out to consumers within seven days, or there will be no sales on Wednesday.”
Kashiwagi said the situation is hopefully a one-time incident because he has already begun making arrangements for shipments to go out of other ports.
“We were told that until further notice, ocean conditions will be creating some shipping delays,” the general manger of the produce wholesaler said. “We’ve already made some of the arrangements to work around this.”
Adding to the ocean woes, California is experiencing winter storms which compound the problem of timely deliveries, Kashiwagi said.
Aloha Air Cargo touts the fastest air cargo fleet in the state and can take the largest loads, carrying on the legacy of service which Aloha Airlines was famous for, according to information provided by Monica Slater of Bennet Group Strategic Communications.
The Tuesday afternoon load was the maximum capacity for the airliner. Kaua‘i Commercial personnel were at Lihu‘e Airport waiting for it when it arrived. They loaded it into two large shipping containers for transport to the Esaki’s facility in Kapa‘a.
“It’s amazing what can be done today,” Kashiwagi said. “This load will get here as if it had been on a normal container shipment. It got into Honolulu this morning, was unloaded, inspected, cleared and in the air by 1 p.m.”
Slater said the planes are the same ones used for passenger service on its former inter-island routes, but have been rebranded to reflect its cargo service.
“I see them in Honolulu all the time when I have to go there, but I’ve never seen them on Kaua‘i,” said Art Umezu, Kaua‘i Film Commissioner. “I think this might be the first time people have seen it outside of Honolulu.”
Kashiwagi said Aloha Airlines Cargo makes three flights to Kaua‘i starting at 9 p.m. so most people don’t get to see the plane.
“One of the good things about this is the pilot for Tuesday’s flight has flown to Kaua‘i, but always at night,” Kashiwagi said. “This flight would bring back memories of when he flew here during the day.”
Slater said Aloha Air Cargo penned a partnership with the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation for farmers to fly produce with Aloha Air Cargo on Nov. 9, 2009.
Under the partnership, associates of HFBF have access to a members-only Web page and exclusive discount program, including up to 35 percent off air freight for locally grown and “Made in Hawai‘i” packaged products, states an Aloha Air Cargo release.
“Agriculture is an exemplary part of Hawai‘i’s economy and a key to preserving our cultural heritage and a green environment,” said Dean Okimoto, HFBF president, in the release. “This is the first time that a discount program of this magnitude has been provided to our entire member base and we thank Aloha Air Cargo for its deep commitment to the betterment of Hawai‘i.”
For more information, visit www.alohaaircargo.com.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.