Maui Business

Focus on 423 Employees as Island Air Bids “Aloha”

November 10, 2017, 6:13 PM HST
* Updated November 11, 4:39 AM
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While Island Air today focused on completing its scheduled flights and serving its passengers, the airline has been working to connect its team members with prospective employers as the company prepares to cease operations at midnight tonight.

Island Air Q400. PC: courtesy Island Air 2017

Island Air ends it’s 37 year history with it’s final flight #449 departing from Kahului Airport at 10:14 p.m., Friday, Nov. 10. The final flight is scheduled to arrive at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport in Honolulu at 10:49 p.m.

Island Air officials have been in communication with businesses around the state that have expressed interest in assisting the employees. In addition, Island Air is working with these and other prospective employers to schedule a job fair for the employees in the near future.

Competitor, Hawaiian Airlines this evening announced it has added three extra round-trip flights from Honolulu to Kona, Līhue and Kahului on the afternoon and night of Sunday, Nov. 12, in anticipation of high passenger traffic resulting from Island Air’s shutdown.

Hawaiian Airlines also announced that it will be holding a job fair for former Island Air employees on Nov. 18 to assist workers displaced by the company’s shutdown. The job fair organized for Island Air employees only will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hawaiian’s Honolulu headquarters at 3375 Koapaka Street.

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“We appreciate the outpouring of support from so many local businesses that want to provide opportunities for our employees,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air. “Our 423 dedicated employees are among the best in the industry. I can’t speak enough about the commitment, work ethic, professionalism and company loyalty our team members have displayed throughout their careers, and I am confident they will make positive contributions to other businesses and organizations that need talented, experienced and committed individuals.”

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Uchiyama noted that businesses, including other airlines, hotels, healthcare providers and other industries, have reached out to Island Air to provide information about potential employment opportunities as well as to inquire about the skills and qualifications of the impacted employees.

“The high caliber of our employees makes them ideal candidates for job opportunities across many industries,” said Uchiyama. “Island Air’s employees have undergone stringent background and security checks, completed extensive training and education and earned numerous safety and technical certifications. In addition to being leaders in their fields, many of our employees are actively involved in our local community. Whether they were born and raised here or have adopted the Islands as their home, our employees know and love Hawaiʻi and incorporate our Island traditions and values into their everyday work and service to our customers.”

“I am so proud of the professionalism and integrity of our team members as they focus on providing our passengers with the Island Way experience on our final day of operations,” Uchiyama added.

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Also today, Island Air employees met with representatives from the state’s Workforce Development Branch to begin the job transition process. Employees on Oʻahu attended three separate meetings with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ “Rapid Response Team” to learn about job placement and training assistance, as well as applying for unemployment insurance and other benefits. Rapid Response Team meetings for employees on the neighbor islands are being scheduled.

“We appreciate the assistance the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is providing to our team members during this difficult period,” said Uchiyama.

Island Air hopes to compensate its employees in full for the work performed through Nov. 10, 2017; however, the final determination will be up to the Bankruptcy Court Trustee. The employees’ existing healthcare insurance benefits are set to expire on Nov. 30, 2017, at the earliest.

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