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Hawaiian Airlines says the disputes over the federal budget are increasingly hindering its business plans, as the FAA still cannot predict when it will be able to perform the certification work needed for the new turboprop subsidiary that Hawaiian is trying to launch.
The carrier has purchased three ATR 42s for its Ohana inter-island operation, but they are sitting idle as the airline waits for the FAA to act. The delay dates back about six months to the budget cuts related to the sequestration process. Hawaiian intended to launch Ohana during the 2013 summer season, but was not able to do so.
This situation is “incredibly frustrating for us,” Hawaiian’s CEO Mark Dunkerley tells Aviation Week. “The strategic development of our business is being held hostage to the budget battles that are taking place.”
Dunkerley says that in planning the new subsidiary, Hawaiian sought the “most expeditious, least impactful” path from a regulatory perspective. “Considering the enormous contribution that airlines and our customers make to funding the provision of [government] services that we use, it’s especially galling that we’re in this woeful situation.”