Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Island Air will
provide oxygen

WAILUKU >> Island Air said it plans to temporarily accommodate passengers who need medical oxygen on flights between Molokai and Oahu.

Some Molokai residents have complained that the termination of jet flights to their island by Hawaiian Airlines on Aug. 15 has made traveling risky, because it was the only airline providing medical oxygen to passengers.

Island Air President Neil Takekawa said his airlines will provide oxygen for Molokai passengers through its built-in emergency system but they have to make arrangements a couple of days in advance of their flight.

Takekawa said Island Air has applied for certification with the Federal Aviation Administration to allow it to carry medical oxygen aboard flights. He said Island Air has purchased five oxygen tanks for its 37-passenger de Havilland Dash-8 aircraft.

Takekawa said his airline also has a wheelchair lift.

Sonia Maliu, 38, who requires oxygen and a lift on flights to a hospital on Oahu, said she was happy with Island Air's plans. Maliu, who suffers from congestive heart failure and sleep apnea, said she hopes the tanks will be installed when she gets on her next flight in February.



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