Southwest to sell Hawaii flights in 2018

12 October, 2017, 17:56 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Southwest Airlines to offer flights to Hawaii; tickets to go on sale next year

Southwest Airlines officials say they plan to begin offering flights to and from Hawaii and expect tickets to go on sale next year.

Dallas-based Southwest will start selling tickets to the popular vacation destination in 2018.

The airline said it is making the announcement now because it soon will begin a public application process to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration's ETOPS (Extended Twin Operations) certification for operating aircraft between the mainland and Hawaii.

The airline took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in August.

Southwest will become the sixth U.S. airline serving Hawaii from the contiguous USA, FlightGlobal schedules data show.

Fans of Hawaii will be hoping the carrier's entry into the new market will lower the cost of getting there as the increased competition and Southwest's low fares could force other airlines to adapt.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO told CNNMoney recently that it is looking at whether to go ahead with a new Airbus jet to start providing 13-hour direct flights to markets such as India, western Australia and even London, or whether to switch to longer range Boeing jets such as 787 Dreamliners. Southwest received nine MAX 8s on October 1 and will have 14 by the end of this year.

Southwest Airlines is now the third-busiest carrier in the US, and a study by the University of Virginia this year found that Southwest still has the power to force its rivals to lower fares to stay competitive.

The airline does not specify routes, but Kelly says nonstop Hawaii service will begin from California.

"We see prices higher than they need to be and we anticipate lowering fares", Watterson said in an interview.

"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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