FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Aloha Airlines Explorers Program is returning next spring as the Island Explorer program. The shut down of Aloha Airlines ended the program with its last graduating class of 23 students. That class celebrated at Dave and Busters in Ward Village. Among the graduates were, from left, Kristine Bigornia, Justin Hirano, Robson Ahpuck and Zack Loscalzo.
Explorers are back in flight
The canceled Aloha Airlines program is being relaunched
will revive a community service program intended to help young people interested in a career in flying.
The Aloha Airlines Explorers Program, run by Aloha Airlines until the shutdown of its passenger operations March 31, will be relaunched in spring 2009 as the Island Explorer program.
"The Island Explorer program will maintain much of the curriculum developed by Aloha Airlines," committee chairman Robert Nakamura, also Island Air's manager of in-flight operations, said in a statement. "The employees at Island Air are very excited to be involved and the number of volunteer participants has been overwhelming."
Seventeen Island Air employees have expressed an interest in participating, outside spokes-woman BJ Whitman said.
In April, 23 students graduated the 10-week program designed to teach students between ages 16 and 20 about working in the airline industry. An Aloha employee started the program, part of the Boy Scouts of America, in 1989. It has since graduated more than 550 students.
"The first class will be smaller, but we plan to grow future classes," Whitman said.
The initial class will have 12 to 20 students. She said she did not know which schools would be participating.