Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Southwest Airlines Announces Plans to Launch Service to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines Announces Plans to Launch Service to Hawaii

"Hawaii is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordably".

Southwest doesn't know the exact timing of the service, and it first needs to apply for Federal Aviation Administration authorization to operate the long-distance flight.

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.

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Seeking Alpha predicted that Southwest "could easily add at least 10 daily flights to Hawaii, to start with". Southwest now serves 10 airports in California, including Los Angeles International, Burbank, Long Beach, Orange County, Ontario and San Diego in Southern California.

In a phenomenon called the Southwest Effect, the airline typically drives down fares on routes it joins. But the airline is the first carrier to begin accepting the new Boeing 737 Max, which has a longer range.

If Hawaii is anything like other markets Southwest has disrupted over the past decades, industry fares could fall. The airliner announced the plans while also giving progress on an application with the FAA to approve flights from the mainland to the islands. We're thrilled to share our intention to bring our world-famous hospitality and value to the Hawaiian Islands!

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But in August, Watterson, said Hawaii routes would make the airline even more useful to West Coast residents. "For much of California, Hawaii is closer than Florida so it would make sense for us to go there".

Southwest intends to begin flights to Hawaii in 2018. Travelers have wanted Southwest to offer flights to Hawaii for years, and Kelly said it's one of the top questions from employees.

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