Yesterday afternoon I took a break from a mass of work awaiting my attention, and clicked over to the new (and very busy) Honolulu Advertiser site, only to discover that one piece of my work was now unnecessary. It was the breaking news that Aloha Airlines, for whose Spirit of Aloha magazine I regularly contribute, is shutting down all operations, including inter-island flights:

Aloha Airlines announced today that it will be shutting its inter-island and trans-Pacific passenger flight operations. Aloha’s last day of operations will be Monday.

On that day Aloha will operate its schedule with the exception of flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and flights from Orange County to Reno and Sacramento and Oakland to Las Vegas.

Effective immediately, Aloha will stop selling tickets for travel beyond tomorrow.

The shutdown will affect about 1,800 employees.”

So that means the essay I have been working on on Lei Making, including my experiences during a superbly enjoyable class on Lei Haku last month with Kilohana Domingo at Kalaekilohana in Ka`u, is now no longer needed.

But of course more than that, the airline I choose to fly, with actual local people working the phones (instead of in a faraway country with no knowledge of Hawaii time, roads, or the aloha spirit–merely rules), friends working the aisles and flying the planes and editing the unique magazine whose recent local fiction issue was in some ways groundbreaking, as of tomorrow, will be gone.

Check out the good work in this month’s final issue of Spirit of Aloha, fine fiction by Eric Chock, Rita Aryoshi, Benton Sen, and more.

And if you need help with flights, check out these helpful links:

–The HVCB is keeping Hawaii travelers updated
Aloha Airlines Customer FAQs
Hawaiian Airlines Information for Aloha Airlines Ticket Holders
United Airlines to Help Aloha Airlines Customers

Photo copyright CT/Literary Lotus, taken at the Aloha Restaurant in Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) January 2008.