Hawaiian expands cargo service

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., parent of Hawaiian Airlines, announced Tuesday plans to acquire three ATR 72 turboprop aircraft in an all-cargo configuration to expand its interisland shipping services.

The new operation will launch in the first half of 2016, starting with flights between Honolulu International Airport and Kona International Airport, Kahului Airport, Lihue Airport and Hilo International Airport with connections from Hawaiian Airlines’ Mainland and international network.

The new cargo operation will create more than 100 new Hawaii-based jobs in various areas of air transportation including pilots, mechanics, ground handlers, sales, customer service and management positions.

“Our customers have asked for a single-provider solution for movement to all major destinations within the state of Hawaii,” said Tim Strauss, Hawaiian’s vice president of cargo sales and services in a press release. “Our ability to handle interisland containerized and palletized cargo will provide greater flexibility for our customers seeking seamless connections from our long-haul flights, and it will help grow our business on both our wide-body and B717 services.”

The ATR 72 fleet can carry up to 18,000 pounds of cargo and will be able to handle five 88-by-108-inch aircraft pallets or up to seven LD3 containers, skidded cargo and oversized shipments. Express services for smaller shipments will also be available on its 160 daily B717 flights throughout the day.

The flights will be branded Ohana by Hawaiian and operated by Empire Airlines, which also operates the 48-passenger ATR 42 turboprop service.

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