(BIVN) – A Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 landed in Honolulu Tuesday, delivering 1.6 million face masks from China to help protect the Hawaiʻi residents from COVID-19.
The Hawaiian Airlines effort was done in partnership with the grassroots community group Every1ne Hawai‘i, which identified the cargo flight as the fastest way to get the masks to Hawaiʻi.
“We realized that in order to create any type of mandate for masks for the broader community, there needs to be enough supply here,” said Every1ne Hawaiʻi co-founder Robert Kurisu. “So that’s when we immediately reached out to Hawaiian Airlines, because procuring masks from anywhere in the world by boat would have taken too long. It would be halfway here. It would come on the second week of May. So that’s where Hawaiian Airlines stepped up and really rose to the occasion.”
From the airline:
Eight Hawaiian Airlines crewmembers departed Honolulu on Saturday on the three-day humanitarian mission between Honolulu and Shenzhen, China. They operated an Airbus A330 aircraft whose cargo hold underwent special modifications to maximize space and carry the large mask shipment. The aircraft, which stopped in Seoul, South Korea, on the way to and from Shenzhen for crew rest purposes, received a water salute by the fire department upon arriving at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport about 4:30 p.m.
Yesterday, company officials said the cargo containers carrying the masks will be unpacked and boxes will be loaded onto Every1ne Hawai‘i “mask mobiles” for complimentary distribution statewide.
The Every1ne Hawaiʻi organization has more information on its website.