By Adina Solomon
Aloha Air Cargo is moving.
The airline is consolidating cargo operations, aircraft maintenance and support services under one roof at its new air cargo facility at Honolulu International Airport, Aloha Air Cargo’s hub.
“For us, it definitely streamlines our operation,” Michael Orozco, director of sales and marketing at Aloha Air Cargo, says. “It’s a long time coming.”
The airline has been in its old facility for 30 years, and it was never meant to be permanent, he says.
The cargo facility is 66,000 square feet and will provide quicker access to refrigeration and the warehouse. The facility is projected to be complete at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Until then, operations will remain unaffected.
The facility will help the airline as it expands outside Hawaii. Though Aloha Air Cargo moves about 70 percent of all the air cargo in Hawaii, Orozco says the state’s market remains stagnant and competition continues to increase.
That’s why Aloha Air Cargo is opening lanes to the U.S. West Coast and looking at the possibility of a charter flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles, he says.
“This new facility, its layout will only lend to our growth. We’re primarily a local cargo operation that ships freight interisland within the state. But there’s so much opportunity outside of the state,” he says. “This facility will allow us to have the resources and the process flow that will lend to our expansion outside of the state.”
The facility will cost $12 million to build, Orozco says. Though it is part of the Hawaii Airport Modernization Program, a government program to improve the state’s busiest airports, Aloha Air Cargo is funding the entire project.
“That’s good because that’s our testament to not only our employees and our operation as a whole but to the state of Hawaii that we’re in it for the long haul,” Orozco says. “We’re not going anywhere.”