Southwest Airlines say aloha to Hawaii

12 October, 2017, 17:40 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Southwest expects to use ETOPS-configured 737 MAX aircraft on the Hawaiian flights

It did say it hoped to have non-stop service from California. Company officials said they could not say yet when the service will begin.

The Dallas airline began to fly outside the U.S.in 2014 when it took over flights to the Caribbean from its subsidiary AirTrans. But Southwest, which announced plans for the service Wednesday, said it will start selling tickets for the service next year. The carrier announced it will embark on a process to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for Extended Operations (ETOPS), a regulatory requirement to operate between the mainland and the Hawaiian islands.

For years now, enthusiasts, frequent fliers, and the airline industry as a whole have been speculating that Southwest Airlines would at some point commence service to Hawaii, the USA state located 2,390 miles from California. That certification measures how far an aircraft can be safely away from land and over water if one engine gives out.

Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said the destination is a request the company has received for years.

Andrew Watterson, executive vice president and chief revenue officer, said the airline expects it could take the FAA one to two years to approve the carrier's application for long-term service to Hawaii.

Southwest President Tom Nealon and Gov. David Ige made the joint announcement via satellite from Waikiki Beach behind the Royal Hawaiian to an estimated 10,000 Southwest employees at a company party at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

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"We anticipate fares will drop", he said.

The carrier intends to start ticket sales next year. This has been a long time coming so there's no particular reason for us to rush it. Southwest received nine MAX 8s on October 1 and will have 14 by the end of this year.

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

You may have heard us purposefully changing our language ahead of tonight's announcement to say it's a matter of when, and not if we serve Hawaii.

But Watterson refuted the notion that Southwest won't be able to offer lower fares. The airline is expected to bring its low-fare, bags-fly-free, no-fee model to the marketplace. "Low costs come from very efficient operations".

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