Hawaiian Airline Maui-based employees share thoughts on what it means to visit the Maui today and how to have a great experience while positively impacting the community

As Maui’s economy struggles in the aftermath of the Lāhainā wildfires, Hawaiian Airlines today launched a new, Maui-focused video series under its acclaimed Travel Pono (Responsibly) program. Hawaiian debuted the first of three new Travel Pono Maui videos hosted by Maui-based airline employees who share thoughts on what it means to visit the island today and how to have a great experience, while positively impacting the community. The airline has received hundreds of inquiries from guests asking whether it is appropriate to visit Maui now and what they should expect when they do. This series aims to answer those questions – through the voices of residents.

While non-essential travel to West Maui remains discouraged by the State of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian is welcoming visitors and fellow kamaʻāina to return to Maui and enjoy popular spots like historic Pāʻia, sunny Kīhei and the rolling hills of upcountry.


The view from Maui Bees, located on the leeward slopes of Haleakalā.


“This is a special moment to visit Maui, with unique opportunities to experience the place and also responsibilities,” said Avi Mannis, chief marketing officer at Hawaiian Airlines. “As the hometown airline, we have a special role to play in supporting Maui. In speaking with our teammates who live on Maui and local business owners, we felt it was important to help them share what visitors can experience visiting Maui today, and what mindful travel to and within Maui looks like as the island recovers.” 


Gerraine Nakama, Travel Pono Maui host and Hawaiian Airlines guest service agent


Hawaiian’s Travel Pono Maui videos were developed in collaboration with employees, business owners and community members who call Maui home. All of the videos were filmed on location over the last week to show the Valley Isle as it can be experienced today. Video hosts include Kiakona Ordonez, a flight attendant from Wailuku, Gerraine Nakama, a guest service agent from Haʻikū, and Sheila Sone, an Airbus A321neo captain from Wailuku.


Sheila Sone, Travel Pono Maui host and Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321neo captain

“Maui is definitely open,” Ordonez shared in the opening video, which takes viewers to Kīhei, Kula, Wailuku and Makawao. “But when you travel to Maui and Hawaiʻi, we ask that you travel pono – to be mindful, as if you’re going to someone else’s house, and to be respectful.”


Kiakona Ordonez, Travel Pono Maui host and Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant

The Travel Pono Maui videos, as well as advice on meaningful travel experiences and ways to support relief efforts, are being shared on Hawaiian’s social media channels and at www.HawaiianAirlines.com/TravelPono/Maui


A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 at Kahului Airport

Hawaiian continues to leverage its operation to bolster the West Maui community. In addition to its immediate airlift and cargo efforts in the days following the fires, the carrier has:  

  • Fielded nearly 150 requests from the community for airlift and shipping support through its Mālama Maui Desk.  
  • Shipped more than 175,000 pounds of relief supplies to Maui for government and nonprofit organizations, from food to medical equipment, as well as nearly 18,000 pounds of supplies through its employee shipping program. 
  • Carried hundreds of first responders and relief staff to and from Maui. 
  • Raised funds for Maui, including its donation of $150,000 ($50,000 each to Hawaiʻi Foodbank, Maui Food Bank and the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation), to further support relief work.
  • Raised nearly 110 million HawaiianMiles for the American Red Cross of Hawaii, on top of a 30-million-mile match.
  • Provided volunteers to Hawaiʻi Foodbank and held a food drive that collected more than 10,000 pounds of food and other goods. 
  • Supported Maui Ola: A benefit concert for Maui, a live event and broadcast fundraiser that took place at Honolulu’s Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum on Aug. 20, by flying in artists, event organizers and participants and providing volunteers.

To learn about supporting West Maui relief efforts, visit www.HawaiianAirlines.com/MalamaMaui

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