It was a scary half-hour this morning for passengers and crew aboard a California-bound Hawaiian Airlines flight.
Hawaiian Airlines Flight 24 bound for Oakland, California took off at 11:18 this morning. Flight 24 made an emergency landing at Kahului Airport just before noon today. The airline said the flight crew declared an emergency and landed at 11:50 a.m. The plane carried 224 passengers and 10 crew.
According to a statement from the airline, the plane returned to the Kahului airport soon after departure due to an odor of fumes in the cabin. The airline said the flight crew declared an emergency and landed at 11:50 a.m. Emergency slides were deployed. No serious injuries were reported, the airline said. Hawaiian Airlines, however has since confirmed that two passengers have been taken to the local hospital with minor injuries.
It was likely the first time anyone on that plane had ever used the emergency slide.
“We apologize for the disruption to our customers. Safety is our highest priority and we were pleased with the swift and decisive actions of the crew. All our team members are now focused on taking care of our customers and seeing them to their final destination as swiftly as possible,” said airline spokesperson Alison Croyle in an email communication to news outlets across the state.
Airline representatives say all customers are being provided options to be re-accommodated on a new aircraft from Maui to Oakland: HA1024 scheduled to depart at 10:15 p.m. and arrive at 6:20 a.m. PDT.
The original flight was scheduled to arrive in Oakland at 7:20 p.m. PDT.
The airline is are also providing overnight accommodations to customers if they prefer to remain on Maui, and will re-accommodate them on flights leaving tomorrow. Airline officials say they will be refunding airfare for all affected passengers.
An investigation is currently underway to determine the source of the odor.
The Maui airport is currently operational. Two Hawaiian Airlines Flights from the mainland – Flight 29 from Seattle to Maui scheduled to arrive at 1:15 p.m. and Flight 41 from San Francisco to Maui scheduled to arrive at 12:50 p.m. – were diverted into Honolulu. Flight 29 arrived in Honolulu at 1:15 p.m. and Flight 41 arrived there at 1:03 p.m. Both flights have since landed at Kahului after the “all clear” was issued.