Employees and clients rejoice over renewal
About 20 employees were happy and ready to get down to business last night as they returned to Aloha Airlines' cargo operation at Honolulu Airport.
Business was slowly trickling in, and two planes were expected to leave at 11:30 last night to Kona and Kauai.
Aaron Sanchez, a driver for Armstrong Produce, pulled into the parking lot of Aloha cargo, leaning out the driver's side window waving. "Hey, what's up?" he said to cheers from Aloha employees. "I'm glad you guys are back."
After unloading, he said it has been a hassle for his boss since no one could handle the volume of their produce shipments. "Now that they're back, life will be easier for Armstrong," he said. "Less headache for us."
Afternoon shift employees had been working for about five hours yesterday before learning about Aloha's return to operations. They had been asked Tuesday to show up for work yesterday without knowing whether they would be paid.
"It still didn't even sink in yet," said Jason Takao, overnight supervisor. "The first thing that came to my mind was I get to see my friends again."
Takao showed up several hours early for his 9:30 p.m. shift to watch the first planes take off. "Then it will probably sink in. I have a job now," said Takao, a 17-year employee.
Clement Balboa, a part-time employee, said he is happy for the long-term workers. "Not too many companies have these kinds of people. For some reason, this bunch of people are just amazing. They stay until the end."
He said he was willing to stay three hours past his quitting time to finish loading the planes.
Kendra Fisher, customer service agent, said, "It's a big relief. We all grew into a big family. It's good to see everyone again."