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Hawaiian Airlines launched the first mainland-bound flight featuring Hawaiian language spoken in cabin announcements and crew instructions on Friday.

Flight HA18 to Las Vegas (LAS) was staffed with a flight crew of fluent olelo Hawaii speakers, who spoke to passengers in both English and Hawaiian. The idea was tested on four inter-island flights to Hilo (ITO) earlier in April and received positive feedback. Both the in-flight announcements and announcements at the gate were made in olelo Hawaii.

“Flight attendants onboard HA18 to Las Vegas will transform the journey into a one-of-a-kind cultural experience by engaging with guests in both ‘olelo Hawai’i and English,” the airline told Hawaii News Now. “The initiative is an extension of the airline’s commitment to honor and share our Islands’ unique culture with guests visiting Hawai’i.”

There has been a recent push to preserve and more widely use the Hawaiian language.

Olelo Hawaii is one of the state’s official languages, and Hawaiian Airlines plans to expand its immersion program for the language over the next several months.

Featured image by Karen Bleier / Getty Images.

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