Hawaiian cancels 19 flights due to pilot availability
HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Airlines was forced to cancel several inter-island flights on Thursday, April 14 because there were not enough certified pilots.
KHON2 has learned that airlines are still catching up with training due to flight simulator issues since the start of 2022.
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A total of 19 flights to and from neighboring islands were canceled Thursday while Hawaiian Airlines raised availability issues with inter-island pilots. An aviation expert sat down with KHON2 to provide insight into the pilot certification process.
“Like once or twice a year a pilot has to go to recertify and it’s a bit like half a day or several hours,” said aviation expert Peter Forman.
Hawaiian said the issue was the availability of B717 pilots, and Forman said the plane was the main workhorse for inter-island travel. If the Hawaiian pilots were certified – but not to fly B717s – this could have caused the problem.
“If they have pilots who are now being moved to, say, 717 from another, you know, equipment, now this certification process in another equipment is a very long process that can take, you know, several weeks. “said Forman.
Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement it was still offering 139 inter-island flights on Thursday and accommodating all of its affected customers.
“For today, we have canceled 19 flights to the neighboring island due to the availability of Boeing 717 pilots. We still plan to operate 139 flights today between the islands and will deploy larger aircraft on certain routes. to balance our capacity. We are relocating all affected passengers to other flights, and we thank them for their patience and understanding. We are catching up with pilot training as we had to perform maintenance on our flight simulator for this fleet more early in the year.
Forman added that airport logistics is a tricky science.
“Airline programming is, is complex. I mean obviously I think a lot of times they can juggle things,” Forman said. “They’re probably wishful thinking, thinking, ‘Well, we can move things around. And it just didn’t work out, so it probably did.
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Hawaiian Airlines said 32 flights to neighboring islands are canceled on Friday, April 14, but 119 flights will still fly between the islands and all affected passengers will be accommodated.