Ninety and Counting
Last November Hawaiian Airlines began a year-long fund-raising drive. In honor of its ninetieth anniversary year (which began on November 12, 2018), the airline would match dollar for dollar up to $90,000 in donations made by employees to four non-profit organizations. As it turns out, the drive did not take twelve months to complete: After only one week, our employees had already pledged $59,000 (or $118,000 when matched by the airline). One month later, employee pledges had topped $95,576.20.
The campaign beneficiaries are the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and Aloha United Way. Each organization aligns with one or more of the airline’s four giving pillars – education, environment, culture and health and human services — and each is a leader in its fields.
“We are honored to partner with Hawaiian Airlines as they commence their ninetieth year of service here in Hawai‘i and truly appreciate their commitment to the preservation and perpetuation of the natural and cultural heritage of our Islands,” said Kawika Burgess, CEO of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, which protects more than 18,000 acres of land and natural resources from Ka‘ū on Hawai‘i island to Hanalei on Kaua‘i.
The anniversary fundraiser is in addition to some $300,000 in sponsorships and grants Hawaiian provides annually through the company’s Team Kōkua giving program and the Hawaiian Airlines Foundation. Last year, the company also provided more than 4.5 million miles in matching donations to twelve Hawai‘i non-profits participating in the Hawaiian Miles Charities program.
Strength in Numbers
There are few positions in the airline industry that are as critical, or as physically demanding, as Ramp Services. Each year, ramp agents handle millions of pieces of luggage in all manner of weather conditions. Hawaiian Airlines currently employs more than 540 ramp personnel throughout its destination network. Traditionally the majority of these positions were filled by men, but in recent years the number of female ramp agents has been growing: Three years ago, one in thirty ramp agents was female; today that ratio is one in five.
Promoting gender equity is nothing new for the airline. In 1979, Hawaiian was the first major airline to have an all-woman flight crew, and its Wāhine in Aviation Employee Resource group exists to encourage advancement and networking for women in all aviation career fields.
From the Archives
Eighty-five years ago the eighth-grade class of Kaua‘i’s Hanamā‘ulu School paid a special visit to Inter-Island Airways, Hawaiian Airlines’ predecessor. On March 8, 1934, Sikorsky S-32 number 2 landed on the grass field of Līhu‘e Airport and, after the paying passengers were deplaned, the students were introduced to the flight crew. They were astonished to learn that one of the pilots, Jimmy Hogg, had grown up on their home plantation. (Hogg was himself introduced to aviation at the age of twelve, when Kaua‘i’s Charles Fern, a one-time barnstormer, gave the boy a ride in his Curtiss “Jenny” biplane.) After learning about the workings of the plane, the entire class was treated to an aerial tour of the Garden Island. —Captain Rick Rogers
— Captain Rick Rogers
Keep It Clean
In 2018 Hawaiian Airlines’ employee volunteer group, Team Kōkua, logged more than 8,000 hours helping non-profits throughout its route network.
Much of this work involved preserving our island environment. For example, last September Team Kōkua partnered with Bank of Hawai‘i and Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i to support International Coastal Cleanup Day. Over the course of a single day, volunteers removed more than 6,200 pounds of debris from a stretch of O‘ahu’s Windward coast between Makapu‘u and Bellows Air Force Station. Material collected included everything from single-use plastic utensils, water bottles and piles of degraded micro-plastics to nets, buoys and other remnants of the commercial fishing industry.