Island Air remained the only airline Friday to cancel flights for storm-related reasons as Hurricane Ana bore down on the Hawaiian Islands.
The local commuter said it was canceling 50 flights this weekend and Monday between Honolulu and Maui, Lanai and Kauai.
Weather forecasters are predicting Ana to slowly weaken and return to a tropical storm by Sunday morning with heavy rainfall, flash flooding and strong and damaging winds.
Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s largest carrier, hasn’t canceled any flights, but spokeswoman Ann Botticelli said it might elect to consolidate some flights over the weekend because some passengers have chosen to take advantage of the airline’s change fee waiver and change their reservations.
"We are monitoring the situation constantly, and meet to discuss after every update from the weather service," Botticelli said.
‘Ohana by Hawaiian, the interisland turboprop operation that Hawaiian contracts out to Idaho-based Empire Airlines, canceled 13 flights due to passenger reaccommodations that created light passenger counts. ‘Ohana canceled two flights Friday, four Saturday and seven on Sunday that operate between Honolulu, Lanai and Molokai.
Local airlines have waived change fees to allow passengers to change flights.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority and state Department of Transportation both said Friday they had not been notified of any cancellations by mainland- or international-based carriers.
Kona-based Mokulele Airlines also said it was monitoring the situation but had canceled no flights.
Island Air canceled 14 one-way afternoon flights between Honolulu and Lanai and Maui for Saturday. The airline canceled all 30 of its one-way flights, which include Kauai as well as Honolulu, Lanai and Maui, on Sunday. Island Air also canceled six Monday morning flights between Honolulu and Kauai.
"The safety of our passengers and staff is Island Air’s No. 1 priority," the airline said.
In August about a dozen airlines canceled nearly 300 flights, displacing thousands of passengers, in the wake of Hurricane Iselle, which was downgraded to a tropical storm just before it hit Hawaii island.
This is the second time in two months that Island Air has canceled dozens of flights — the last time being due to Iselle.
"Passengers face uncertainty in these types of situations and appreciate any advance notice to assist with their planning instead of finding out the day of their flight or at the airport that their flight has been canceled," Island Air said. "The last thing we want is for our passengers and staff to be traveling in inclement weather or to be stuck at an airport."