Southwest Airlines makes it official: Hawaii service on the way

Southwest Airlines Announces Plans to Launch Service to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines announces intent for flights to Hawaii

"The launch of our ETOPS work begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines". Company officials said they could not say yet when the service will begin.

The carrier intends to start ticket sales next year.

"Our seat-mile costs are below (other airlines serving Hawaii) and we will offer lower fares than now are in the marketplace".

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Southwest Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson, who worked for Hawaiian Airlines as vice president of planning and revenue management from 2011-2013, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the company was purposely ambiguous about when flights would begin to and from Hawaii because that will depend on when ETOPS authorization is received. "Low costs come from very efficient operations. So that leads to lows costs so we have lower than our competitors so we'll be able to bring lower ticket prices".

Southwest Airlines, ending years of speculation, officially announced late this afternoon that it will start selling tickets to Hawaii beginning next year and offer fares that are lower than those now in the marketplace.

Though the airline has not indicated what routes it will offer to the state, airline officials say they are also evaluating the possibility of offering flights between the islands.

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"Southwest has a strong brand and a real committed customer base that they will bring to Hawaii. We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years", Kelly said.

The carrier doesn't charge a fee to change flights and allows up to two checked bags for free within the size and weight limits. "Never had any problems", she said. Another big key in the Hawaii announcement is the launch of Southwest's Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which offer expanded range compared to other models. Watterson said Southwest has been waiting for delivery of the 737 Max 8 to deploy it on routes to Hawaii. We're thrilled to share our intention to bring our world-famous hospitality and value to the Hawaiian Islands!

"The bigger the airplanes, the lower the cost per seat mile, so the airlines such as Hawaiian and United who offer the bigger planes to and from Hawaii do have the cost advantage", said Forman.

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Flying to Hawaii could get cheaper soon.

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