U.S. Airlines Provide Aid to Maui During Wildfires
August 15, 2023
As Hawaii works to recover from the devastating fires that scorched the island of Maui earlier this month, U.S. airlines are aiding in disaster response and relief efforts, including more than150 relief flights from August 10–14, to help transport survivors to safety off the island. A4A member airlines are also offering increased flexibility for travelers whose air travel plans are impacted by the fires, including travel waivers to and from Kahului Airport (Maui).
Here are some additional ways A4A member airlines are assisting with relief efforts:
Since August 9, Alaska Airlines has transported over 189,000 pounds of relief supplies, including water, non-perishable food, blankets, baby formula and more to West Maui communities. In partnership with local elected officials, community leaders and other non-profits, Alaska employees on Maui have led multiple deliveries of these provisions to severely affected neighborhoods in Lāhainā, Olowalu, Napili-Honokōwai and others.
Despite not typically operating flights between the Hawaiian Islands, the airline deployed two special evacuation flights between Maui and O‘ahu to deliver vital provisions and facilitate the movement of residents and visitors from Maui.
The Alaska Airlines Foundation, together with Alaska employees and their company’s employee Matching Gift program, have pledged more than $100,000 to Kāko‘o Maui through the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), which works to enhance the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians. All proceeds will go directly to Maui organizations in support of ongoing relief efforts.
In addition, Alaska Airlines has donated 5 million miles to Kanu Hawaiʻi and Maui Rapid Response to help relocate displaced Maui residents while they work to rebuild what they have lost. Alaska will also match the first 1 million miles donated by Alaska Mileage Plan members through August 31.
American Airlines has been supporting in Maui evacuation efforts by adding additional flights on larger aircraft to provide more seats for people to leave Maui. Since the wildfires began on August 9, American operated 21 flights from Kahului (Maui) to evacuate more than 4,200 customers from the island.
American is supporting the Red Cross disaster relief efforts, and AAdvantage® members can earn 10 AAdvantage® bonus miles for every dollar donated with a minimum of $25 donation to the Red Cross. Employees at American are supporting those impacted by the wildfires by providing essential items to the airport and throughout the island. As of Aug. 22, American has distributed more than 12 million AAdvantage miles to customers for their generous contributions, and the Red Cross has received donations totaling more than $1.2 million.
They are also working with Feeding America and Baby 2 Baby to send shipments of critical supplies such as nonperishable food items, baby formula, diapers, feminine products and more to the island.
To provide additional flexibility to customers, American issued a travel alert, allowing customers who are affected to change their travel plans. .
Delta Air Lines
To assist with Maui relief efforts, Delta contributed $250,000 to the American Red Cross to aid in the disaster response and relief efforts in Maui and other areas of Hawaii. Delta customers can support relief efforts by donating through Delta’s Customer Microsite, in partnership with the Red Cross. Additionally, Delta employees in Maui have been assisting evacuees at the airport by providing basic food and services to customers.
Delta also has delivered shipments of toiletries, bottled water, food and other necessities to assist with immediate relief efforts and continues to aid in evacuation efforts.
For customers planning to travel to/through/from Kahului (Maui), Delta has issued a travel waiver.
FedEx is assisting in Maui relief efforts through the multiple non-profits they support including the American Red Cross, Direct Relief, Team Rubicon and World Central Kitchen, that are actively assessing the situation in affected areas and providing aid, including critical medical supplies.
Hawaiian is continuing their relief efforts to those who were impacted by the Maui wildfires. This week, the carrier’s Cultural and Community Relations team coordinated a company-wide food drive to support the West Maui community. Additionally, Hawaiian flight attendants mobilized members of a Facebook group to send 500 pounds of items to Maui families in need. Since Sunday, Hawaiian’s cargo team has accepted approximately 3,900 pounds of employee shipments.
Hawaiian added additional flights from Kahului to Honolulu to aid in evacuation efforts. As of Friday, August 11, Hawaiian had transported more than 12,500 people out of Maui. They have also been carrying essential cargo on their aircraft, along with donating and shipping soft goods and catering items for evacuees arriving at Kahului Airport. Hawaiian Airlines also announced they are working with the with Hawaiʻi Foodbank and Maui Food Bank on food collection and distribution and will donate $150,000 to further support the organizations’ wildfire relief work.
To respond more efficiently to the organizations and individuals seeking flight, cargo or volunteer support, Hawaiian has launched the Mālama Maui Desk. They are also supporting Maui Ola: A benefit concert for Maui, a live concert and broadcast fundraiser at 5 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.
Hawaiian has activated Team Kōkua, Hawaiian’s employee volunteer group, to support guests and staff in Honolulu and Kahului. Employees are on the ground assisting at the Honolulu Convention Center and other shelter facilities for visitors.
Customers can assist in relief efforts by donating their miles to HawaiianMiles on behalf of the American Red Cross of Hawaii.
A travel waiver is in place for customers traveling to/from Kahului (Maui).
Since the onset of the Maui wildfires, Southwest added daily service across the Pacific and within the state to help move people, pets and provide critical supplies. Southwest is working with Hawaii law enforcement and local firefighting agencies to provide a continual shuttle of first responders.
Southwest is directing its support, and that of its customers and employees, to the local and national agencies including the Maui Food Bank and the American Red Cross.
Additionally, a Southwest travel waiver is in place for customers traveling to/through/from Kahului (Maui).
United Airlines is continuing to provide relief efforts to the island. On August 17, United sent another cargo shipment, in partnership with Convoy of Hope, from Chicago Kahului (Maui). The aircraft is carrying 24,000 pounds of supplies — including baby formula, baby care kits, canned goods, hygiene kits and more.
From August 8 – 13, they transported more than 11,000 people off the island, and flew in responders from the American Red Cross, Air Link and World Central Kitchen. Over that same period, United operated 62 departures, including 28 with widebody aircraft, while also adding capacity in and out of Honolulu, where many evacuees first traveled seeking transport to the mainland. In partnership with the American Red Cross, United sent supplies such as clean-up kits including work gloves, trash bags, cleaning materials and packages of supplies for use in shelters.
Customers, along with United, have donated more than 43 million miles and nearly $450,000 through the Miles on a Mission campaign that the airline launched for our humanitarian aid and disaster relief partners.
A travel waiver is in place for customers traveling to/from Kahului (Maui).
*Travelers should check individual airline websites linked above for more details on carriers’ travel waivers and how to redeem them for future travel as they continue to update travel waivers.
Updated August 23 at 10 a.m. ET.