Hawaiian Airlines has removed the crew rest module from one of its 24 Airbus A330-200 aircraft to provide more room for vital medical cargo. The specially chartered aircraft departed Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on Saturday for China, where it will pick up two million face masks for the island’s citizens.
Working alongside grassroots community group, Every1ne Hawaii, the airline has worked tirelessly to obtain international approval for its humanitarian mission to Shenzhen, China.
In a move designed to accommodate an extra 2,500 pounds of cargo, Hawaiian Airlines mechanics removed the widebody aircraft’s lower deck crew rest module.
The masks will help vulnerable members of the community
Aboard the flight, which will stop in South Korea on route to China, will be four Hawaiian Airlines pilots, two mechanics, and two airport operations employees. After picking up its much-needed cargo, the plane will return to Hawaii, landing just after 17:00 Monday.
According to the local island newspaper, the Star Advertiser, Every1ne Hawaii will work with other non-profit groups and city leaders to distribute the masks to the most vulnerable members of the community.
The face coverings are arriving in the Hawaiian Islands just after a new rule comes into force that says everyone on the island of Oahu must wear a facemask if they intend to perform any business. The new rule, implemented by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, applies to everyone except those who are conducting a business transaction inside a bank or any other financial institution.
Hawaii is pushing the use of face masks
These new rules come on top of Hawaii Governor David Ige’s mandate that requires everyone working in an essential business that has not been shut down by the coronavirus to wear a mask or face covering.
The order also states that critical companies that are still open follow the following guidelines:
- Monitor and enforce social distancing rules of at least six feet between customers and employees.
- Limit the number of customers in a facility to only the amount allowed when following social distancing guidelines.
On top of these new rules, all beaches remain closed, and that anything people used to do in groups, such as hiking, is not allowed.
For the time being, Every1ne Hawaii is not handing out face masks, but thanks to its partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, it hopes to begin doing so again soon.
In the meantime, the grassroots support group urges people to visit its website and follow Every1ne Hawaii on social media for updates on the arrival of the masks.
America now leads the world in COVID-19 related deaths
While President Trump is pushing for a return to normalcy, America, as of Sunday morning, has at least 728,094 people testing positive for the coronavirus, according to a New York Times database.
The United States now leads the world in the reported number of deaths, with 34,000 people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, a figure that is currently increasing by more than 2,000 per day.
Hawaii, in contrast to other places, has only reported 574 cases of the virus, of which just 9% required hospitalization. Of these cases, 80% were residents returning from different parts of the country or overseas.
Let us know what you think about Hawaiian Airlines’ efforts in the fight against COVID-19 in the comments section.