The report of eight Hawaiian Airlines employees diagnosed with COVID-19 will not impact the company’s plans to resume more routes to its US mainland gateway cities in the coming weeks.
The employees tested positive for the virus this week after feeling ill. They had recently attended a flight attendant training at the airlines’ Honolulu headquarters, officials told Big Island Now on Thursday.
“We are supporting our team members in their recovery, helping contact anyone who may have been at risk of exposure, and reinforcing our office protocols to keep our employees safe,” a Hawaiian Airlines spokesman stated in an email.
Out of an abundance of caution, the company canceled its flight attendant training for the next two weeks in order to deep clean its facilities. All instructors have been tested, and approximately 60 employees who have been through the training program in the past week have been asked to self-quarantine and monitor their health.
“This does not affect our plans to resume more routes as announced earlier this week,” the spokesman stated.
In March, Gov. David Ige ordered a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all mainland and trans-pacific travelers as well as inter-island travel. The inter-island restrictions were lifted in May and the quarantine order for outside visitors is expected to be lifted July 31.
On June 24, Ige announced plans to reopen and allow travelers back to the state starting Aug. 1, with a caveat. Individuals must submit to a COVID-19 test if they wish to avoid the quarantine. A pre-travel COVID-19 testing program is currently being developed.
In line with the state’s reopening, Hawaiian Airlines plans to resume flights to many of its mainland gateways cities. Hawaiian will also increase neighbor island flights to offer guests more connectivity between O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and the Island of Hawai‘i.