HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – It’s a busy holiday weekend at Honolulu’s airport.
It’s also turning out to be a stressful one for some travelers.
Over the last several days, Hawaiian Airlines has canceled dozens of inter-island flights because of pilot shortages, leaving some scrambling to figure out how they’ll make their planned trip.
“So we were a little shocked that it did get canceled,” said Paige Garcia, who was scheduled to fly to Maui with her family on Friday morning.
Their flight was pushed to a later time.
“It’s been a little hectic,” she said.
Travelers flying from Maui to Oahu ran into the same problem.
“It was kind of empty at first early this morning, so I kind of got worried. I was like, wait a minute, looks like a ghost town,” said Ewa Beach resident Michael Decenso.
“And I had a bad feeling about all flights being canceled. Sure enough it was cancelled.”
Decenso was supposed to return to Oahu on Thursday night, but his flight was one of 19 Neighbor Island trips that ended up being cancelled. “It’s kind of frustrating. I just wanted to be home,” he said.
Hawaiian Airlines says the schedule changes are because of training issues related to their flight simulator. And in the end, there were not enough pilots to operate the Boeing 717.
Hawaiian does expect inter-island operations to normalize a bit heading into the weekend. They’re now using larger aircraft, especially for their busiest routes ― including Honolulu to Kahului.
The airline is apologizing to their guests for the schedule disruptions.
Despite the delays, travelers say they’re still looking forward to some quality time with family.
“We’re hoping to get some real relaxation there,” said Daniel, a Las Vegas resident headed to Maui.
Hawaiian Airlines says they have enough larger aircraft to use for their neighbor island flights as needed to accommodate guests until the training issues are resolved.
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