Southwest Airlines 737, Credit: Wikimedia
Southwest Airlines has announced it will be serving Hawaii from the mainland U.S. with the first tickets being sold sometime in 2018.
"A day long-awaited by our Customers, fans, and more than 55,000 of the world's most-loved airline Employees is finally within sight—a day that will showcase your Hospitality, about as far Southwest as you can go in the U.S.," Chairman & CEO Gary Kelly told thousands of Southwest Employees at a Company gathering in Southern California. "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. We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years."
Before Southwest can begin flying to Hawaii, it must receive Extended Operations (ETOPS) authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Texas-based low cost carrier will announce route and equipment specifics at a later date.
Southwest is also exploring the possibility of offering inter-island flights. "On the mainland, we're known for short flights, quick turn around times," Andrew Watterson, Southwest executive vice president and chief revenue officer told Hawaii News Now. "The inter-island market does lend itself to that."
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