Hawaiian Airlines' Ohana by Hawaiian passenger service from Honolulu to Molokai and Lanai, suspended during the pandemic, has been permanently discontinued.

"This is a heartbreaking decision, particularly for those of us who were involved in launching the business in 2014," Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement. "We took a hard look at the service and could not identify a way to restart and sustainably operate."

According to the airline statement, the obstacles to restarting the service were too great and costs were too prohibitive, and the earliest flights could have resumed was at the end of 2021.

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The decision by Hawaiian Airlines leaves Mokulele Airlines, which is operated by Florida-based Southern Airways, as the only air service provider between Honolulu and Molokai and Lanai.

"We thank the communities of Molokai and Lanai for their support of Ohana by Hawaiian," Ingram said. "We will continue to explore opportunities to return to and to reconnect the islands as Hawaii's carrier."

The airline said its statewide ATR freighter cargo service will also not return.

A severe decline in travel to the Neighbor Islands caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and state and county quarantine measures triggered a labor provision that led to the temporary suspension of passenger and cargo flights, according to a Hawaiian Airlines statement, and the carrier decided to permanently end service following an assessment of the operation and its long-term viability.

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