Southwest announces flights to Hawaii

Andrew Cummings
October 12, 2017

The company made the official announcement to thousands of employees first during a gathering in Los Angeles. Travelers have wanted Southwest to offer flights to Hawaii for years, and Kelly said it's one of the top questions from employees. "We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years", Kelly said.

"The launch of our ETOPS work begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines".

Southwest plans to use its new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which it added earlier this month, to fly between the mainland and Hawaii.

Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday that it has plans to begin selling tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii with an ultimate goal of extended operations. It's not yet known which airports will offer direct nonstop service to Hawaii.

Southwest flights to Hawaii may not launch until 2019 because the airline still has to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, outfit aircraft with additional equipment and provide special training for crews, according to the Dallas News.

"We anticipate fares will drop", he said.

Southwest Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson says the airline can't give a date for when flights will begin as it depends on when it receives the FAA certification.

Fans of Hawaii will be hoping the carrier's entry into the new market will lower the cost of getting there as the increased competition and Southwest's low fares could force other airlines to adapt.

Southwest says its capacity plans for 2018 remain unchanged with the Hawaii announcement.

No specific routes have been announced, but it's a safe assumption that the airline will launch its Hawaii flights from the West Coast. Southwest is now operating nine MAX 8s and expects to have 14 in service by the end of the year.

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