Honolulu - Hawaiian Airlines plans to launch full-freighter operations from Honolulu to the cities Kahului and Hilo with its newly delivered ATR 72-200(F)s.

The U.S. carrier already received its first ATR 72-200(F), registered N811HC (msn 227) in September 2017 and expects to take the delivery of the second aircraft, registered N810HC (msn 423), later this month.

Hawaiian Airlines will add the Kona city to its cargo network After the delivery of the third and final ATR 72-200(F). The company will operate these routes by overnight services.

All three freighters will be operated by Empire Airlines under the Ohana by Hawaiian brand. The same company already operates a fleet of three passenger aircraft (ATR 42-500) for Honolulu-based airline operator.

Hawaiian conducted some test flights between Honolulu and Kahului using its only ATR 72-200(F) delivered so far.

Hawaiian Airlines aims to increase its market share in the growing e-commerce freight traffic using its Honolulu base as a cargo hub between Asia and mainland United States.

The move will make Hawaiian enter into direct competition with another Honolulu-based carrier Aloha Air Cargo. Aloha Air Cargo currently carries out 280 weekly flights to the destinations out of Hawaii.