Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has shifted its operations from tourism to supporting disaster relief efforts in the areas devastated by the wildfires in Lahaina.
Blue Hawaiian has partnered with Blue Hawaiian Activates hotel partners, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to help the most impacted areas by transporting food, water and medical supplies from Oʻahu and Kahului to the Lahaina area.
“Given that our helicopters can land in just about any terrain, and we have highly-trained and experienced tour pilots with extensive knowledge of these islands, this is the best way we can support our community,” said Blue Hawaiian President Quentin Koch, who immediately sought to get emergency authorization to land helicopters and begin assisting with relief efforts. “When a tragedy like this occurs, our team quickly rises to the occasion and their service to the impacted communities is a testament to their unwavering commitment.”
Over the last three days, Blue Hawaiian teammates have been able to transport basic supplies to thousands of hotel guests, residents, and emergency responders. They’ve also been able to help evacuate dozens of people from areas that were inaccessible due to road closures, according to company representatives.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of Blue Hawaiian,” said Blue Hawaiian Director of Revenue Kyu Yi, who has been driving, where possible, to personally deliver food and water to hotel guests during the last 48 hours. “I’m honored to work for a company that is literally all hands-on deck to help those in need. To say that Blue Hawaiian is committed to helping the community is an understatement.”
Blue Hawaiian’s operations out of Kahului Airport will remain available to provide all teammates and hotel partners the necessary support and resources to help them navigate such difficult times.
“Every single teammate across Blue Hawaiian has been impacted on some level,” said Koch, adding that all employees have been located and confirmed to be safe. “Unfortunately, many of our colleagues still have missing family members, some have lost their homes or others have even lost loved ones. These wildfires have been devastating for all of us, but Blue Hawaiian will always be here for our families, friends, and communities.”