Airlines continue to assist with evacuation, relief efforts on Maui
The airlines serving Maui’s Kahului Airport are continuing to support relief efforts amid the devastating wildfires in several ways while encouraging customers to do the same.
Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have all added additional flights to help with evacuation efforts and get crucial first responders to the island to battle the blazes. Hawaiian even consolidated other neighbor island flights to focus on adding more flights to support the Maui community.
“Our hearts are with everyone impacted by the devastating Maui wildfires,” Southwest Airlines said Thursday in an X (formerly Twitter) post.
Many are also helping transport essential resources such as food, water and other supplies.
Alaska Airlines, which on Thursday flew a rescue flight to Maui filled with relief supplies for residents impacted by the fires, also added interisland flights to its schedule, something it doesn’t normally provide, to take customers from Maui to Honolulu and get supplies to the island.
United Airlines canceled all flights to Kahului on Thursday so its planes could fly empty to Maui and bring passengers back to the mainland.
“Safety is the first priority for our customers and employees,” the airline said in an X post, echoing comments from other airlines. “We are closely monitoring the devastating conditions in Maui.”
Airlines also have lowered their prices or put flexible travel policies in place to help those needing to get off the island and people who have to change their travel plans because of the wildfires.
Seats remain available for flights to Honolulu through Friday for $19 for Hawaiian Airlines passengers who need to get off Maui. Travelers affected by the Maui fires and are flying Hawaiian can visit the airline’s information page for guidance on next steps.
Waivers are in place for United passengers traveling to, from or through Maui as well. Alaska Airlines put a flexible travel policy in place to allow guests to leave the island as needed or postpone travel to the island.
American Airlines is also upgrading aircraft to provide more seats.
Hawaiian is continuing to closely coordinate with state and county emergency management teams to ensure support is provided wherever it’s needed. It also is accepting donations of HawaiianMiles on behalf of the American Red Cross of Hawai‘i on its website.
Airlines are encouraging their customers to help with relief efforts by donating to responding agencies as well.
American has partnered with the Red Cross to provide relief. Through Aug. 31, customers will earn 10 AAdvantage bonus miles for every dollar donated to the Red Cross of $25 or more.
Firefighters on Maui continue to battle three large wildfires, one of which has destroyed historic Lāhainā. The death toll from the blazes increased to 53 people Thursday.
Airlines on Thursday also reminded the public that all non-essential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time.
“This is an incredibly tragic and sad event, and our hearts go out to everyone impacted on Maui and especially those who have lost loved ones,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “We send our deepest condolences to those impacted by the fires and will continue to leverage every resource we have to support the Maui community.”