Monday, 23 October, 2017

Southwest Airlines to start flying to Hawaii

Southwest expects to use ETOPS-configured 737 MAX aircraft on the Hawaiian flights Southwest expects to use ETOPS-configured 737 MAX aircraft on the Hawaiian flights
Preston Stone | 13 October, 2017, 01:08

We intend to begin selling tickets in 2018, and while we're not quite ready to offer our Customers specific schedule or market information, tonight's announcement is going to be big news within the industry.

Southwest, which flies the most domestic USA customers of any airline, has applied with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Extended Operations Service authorization, a required regulatory step ahead of commencing flights between the continental US and Hawaii.

It won't be long before you'll be able to book a Southwest Airlines flight to Hawaii.

In a phenomenon called the Southwest Effect, the airline typically drives down fares on routes it joins. The planes are more fuel efficient and can fly longer distances than older models. And with a major carrier adding flights to Hawaii in 2018, this may be a good time to start.

Other airlines have also said in recent months they will add new Hawaii flights. The airliner announced the plans while also giving progress on an application with the FAA to approve flights from the mainland to the islands.

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In part, Southwest is more bullish on Hawaii because it is locked in a battle with Alaska Airlines over which can fly more leisure travelers in the state. Based on the amount of market share that Southwest controls, it suggested that likely airports to host Hawaii flights would include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Portland.

The company made the announcement Wednesday in a reply to a tweet from 2008.

"We're the biggest airline in California", Watterson said.

Kelly said he made an announcement last night at an employees-only meeting. "For much of California, Hawaii is closer than Florida so it would make sense for us to go there".

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