“One of the reasons why we are having it here is because, our employees work really hard and this is an opportunity to thank them, and their families for being so supportive during the course of the year,” said Debbie Nakanelua, Hawaiian Airlines Senior Manager for Government and Community Relations.
In planning the ʻOhana Festival, Hawaiian Airlines partnered with many non-profit organizations that serve Hawaiʻi. One group is the Polynesian Voyaging Society, who shares a long relationship with Hawaiian Airlines.
“Part of our relationship with the ocean also comes with our relationship with Polynesian Voyaging society. This year, really excited to support the worldwide voyage. And something that is going to take place over the next four, possibly five years, and we are really happy that they are giving tours of Hikianalia today,” said Nakanelua.
Earlier this year, Hawaiian Airlines extended their aloha and ʻohana values to the Polynesian Voyaging Society by donating 32 million air miles to help transport crewmembers and voyaging necessities for Hōkūleʻa on her Worldwide Voyage.
“For those of us who are born and raise here, ʻohana is kind of..first nature for us. And we have a lot of new employees that are coming from other parts of the world, to help us be a successful airline. So, it’s our attempt to help them understand ʻohana, and what that really means. So the best way for them to get that is for us to demonstrate it,” said Nakanelua.