Update: The member of Congress moonlighting as a pilot (or, since he never seems to actually show up to votes, perhaps it’s the other way around) is rumored to be running for Governor. (HT: @crucker)
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) April 28, 2022
Update: the Congressman claims it’s not his working as an active pilot for Hawaiian Airlines that’s kept him from voting in person over the last three months. It’s fear of catching Covid. He’ll spend time in airports and on planes, but he’s afraid of flying to D.C. Yeah, ok.
Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele rarely visits Washington DC. He hasn’t cast an in-person vote since January. Kahele, who took Tulsi Gabbard’s seat in the House of Representatives, is busy flying around his home state as a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines.
In 2020, before coming to Congress, he earned $120,000 flying for the Aloha state’s largest airline. Now he’s permitted only $29,000 in outside income and, according to the Congressman’s office, flies “occasional flights to maintain his certification.”
The congressman is not making $120,000. He is fully in compliance with Ethics,” Ahn said. “He is an active member of the airline union, the ALPA Pilots Union, and is a certified commercial pilot and active member of Hawaiian Airlines. He does fly occasional flights to maintain his certification.
Hawaiian Airlines, for their part, confirms that Kahele is an active employee of the airline. Surely that’s not a conflict of interest when called upon to vote on subsidies for, or matters affecting, the airline industry?
Of course aviation is highly political, and it’s nothing new for the airline industry to have influence in high places. The King of the Netherlands is a pilot for KLM. He used to fly Fokkers but when those were retired he transitioned to the Boeing 737.
The Dutch king still is an active 737 pilot who regularly flies unsuspecting KLM pax to their destination. Yesterday he piloted flight KL1253 to Nice. Which is nice. https://t.co/H76ad9raMB
— Steven (@Airwaysfoodie) January 17, 2020
Thailand’s Queen is a former Thai Airways flight attendant, and the King’s Royal Consort is a fighter pilot.
Meanwhile Mandy Moore’s father was a pilot for American Airlines, retiring at the end of 2021.
(HT: Paul H)