Wednesday, 15 August, 2018


Southwest Airlines makes it official: Hawaii service on the way

Southwest Airlines Announces Plans to Launch Service to Hawaii Southwest Airlines makes it official: Hawaii service on the way
Conrad Doyle | 12 October, 2017, 17:21

Summer may be over but there's plenty of time to plan for next season.

Southwest Airlines Co. on October 11 shared plans to begin selling tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii and also announced its intention to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration authorization for Extended Operations (ETOPS).

The company announced Wednesday at a company gathering and in a blog post that it will begin selling tickets to the Pacific Ocean vacation destination in 2018.

Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly called the announcement a "day long-awaited" by customers, fans and employees. "We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years".

Boeing and Southwest must wait for FAA approval for long over-the-water passenger flights for the 737 Max before it can begin service. "We're thrilled to bring Hawaii next year as an option to more than 115 million Customers who already fly with us, annually", said Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven.

The Dallas airline began to fly outside the U.S.in 2014 when it took over flights to the Caribbean from its subsidiary AirTrans. Travelers have wanted Southwest to offer flights to Hawaii for years, and Kelly said it's one of the top questions from employees.

A study published by the business school at the University of Virginia earlier this year found that of 109 markets in which Southwest started service between 2012 and 2015, fares fell by an average of 15%, with almost a third of the routes enjoying a drop of more than 20%.

David Ige, the governor of Hawaii, also welcomed and invited Southwest's announcement and Tom Nealon, Southwest's President, responded adding, "The unmatched combination of our People and low fares with nothing to hide will be a game-changer in the U.S.to Hawaii market". It's not yet known which airports will offer direct nonstop service to Hawaii.

"We anticipate fares will drop", he said. The rest of the work is lined up to bring the performance enhancements of the MAX to what we intend to build into a multi-market offering among our west coast cities and the Hawaiian Islands.

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