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Following the Maui wildfires, airlines deliver relief

Following the Maui wildfires, airlines deliver relief

Over the past ten days, airlines have been a key component of the relief operations in Maui. 

In addition to other actions, airlines increased flight service in the days following the fire to aid in the evacuation, occasionally to locations outside of their normal Maui network. 

Airlines have been essential in getting supplies and aid workers to Maui. 

The biggest airline in Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, reported that it had given more than $600,000 in cash and in-kind gifts to the relief efforts, including more than 4,000 free seats for volunteers and locals of Maui. 

Additionally, Hawaiian reported that in the first six days following the accident, its aircraft flew 54,000 pounds of vital supplies to Maui, including kennels for animals and communications equipment as well as life-saving blood and medical supplies.

In addition, Hawaiian increased its collaboration with neighborhood food banks by contributing $150,000. 

In addition, Hawaiian Airlines increased their flight schedule, offering rates as low as $19 while transporting more than 17,000 passengers from Maui’s Kahului Airport in the first 72 hours following the fire. 

The five other major airlines that fly to Maui, Southwest, Alaska, American, United, and Delta, have made similar kinds of contributions. 

Southwest, the second-largest airline serving Maui, for instance, claimed to have provided more than $100,000 in cash and air travel in the days following the fire. The carrier has also offered free delivery of essential supplies, and it is working with regional authorities to provide transportation for volunteer firefighters. 

Southwest, like Hawaiian, offered $19 tickets as soon as the fire broke out, and the airline announced on Friday that it has been expanding operations daily across the Pacific and within Hawaii. 

“Our work and partnerships will continue as we support long-term recovery efforts,” the airline declared. 

After the fires, Alaska Airlines, which doesn’t frequently fly within Hawaii, ran rescue flights from Maui to Honolulu. The airline also provided food, water, beds, diapers, and other supplies on special cargo-only flights into Maui from its Seattle freight hub. As of Thursday, Alaska said that it has shipped 189,000 pounds of help to Lahaina fire victims.

After the Lahaina fire, American also increased its air service to and from Maui and increased the size of its aircraft for additional trips to help with the evacuation.

The airline claimed to have also prepared emergency supplies for incoming aircraft.

Related: Cruise lines contribute to the relief work in Maui

Through this week, United has continued to provide aid to Maui, and on Wednesday it brought in 24,000 pounds of supplies from Chicago.

In the week following the fire, United transported more than 12,000 people off of Maui, frequently using planes that had been flown onto the island solely for disaster assistance.  

In the wake of the storm, United also increased capacity from Honolulu to the mainland. 

One of Delta’s post-fire initiatives was a donation of $250,000 to the Red Cross for Maui fire assistance.

Source- Travel weekly

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